Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Oct 29:
Subsequent to the announcement of a package for the agriculture sector, including subsidized loan for farmers affected by the twin calamities of cyclone and flood by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the finance department today directed banks to provide fresh loans for Rabi crop in order to achieve the annual target of crop loan benefiting the affected farmers.
Additional Chief Secretary of Finance Upendra Behera convened an emergency meeting of State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) today and sought the assistance of the banks, including commercial banks, to provide loans to the farmers.
Behera stressed on conversion of short term to medium term loans at 5% interest per annum and at 2% per annum to farmers making prompt payment of short term crop loan. This will enable farmers to avail fresh crop loans in view of recent calamities.
He also advised the banks for restructuring and re-phasing of existing loans of affected areas as per RBI guidelines.
Focusing on Rabi crop, he asked the banks to achieve the annual target of crop loan and term loan of agriculture including allied sector positively.
Banks were also advised to implement RBI guidelines with regard to rehabilitation package in respect of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). It was also decided to expedite the credit delivery to the affected people by organising special camps in coordination with the banks.
All banks were advised to issue necessary instructions to the branch level functionaries for implementation of action points that emerged in the meeting.
It is to be noted that the state government has announced the revised Rabi campaign programme for 2013-14 with extension of crop loan to the tune of Rs 3,500 crore to the farmers in 30 districts through the cooperative sector.