Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 11:
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking his intervention and advise NABARD to sanction Rs. 1300 crores in favour of Odisha State Cooperative Bank so that the farmers are not put into inconvenience in such a drought situation prevailing in the state.
“My government has decided to provide fresh loans to the farmers in the drought affected areas without recovering the loans advanced during Khariff, 2015. The Cooperative Banks in the state have been playing a pivotal role in dispensation of crop loans as around 70% of the credit for the purpose is provided by these organizations. Since the resources of the Cooperative Banks are limited, by and large, they depend upon NABARD refinance for the purpose,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote in the letter.
Notably, the drought condition prevalent in Odisha has caused extensive damage to the Khariff crops in 215 out of 314 blocks in the state.
“As I understand, against the programme of Rs. 10,000 crores for disbursement of crop loans by the Cooperative Banks, NABARD has sanctioned a refinance limit of Rs.3200 crores only. Although the policy of NABARD stipulates that 45% of the crop loans to be provided by the Cooperative Banks should come as refinance from them to the Odisha State Cooperative Bank, the limit sanctioned falls short of Rs. 1300 crores against eligibility norms stipulated by NABARD. In this connection, the Chief Secretary has already written a letter to the Chairman, NABARD on November 7, but no response has been received so far,” he said.
As the farmers affected by drought have been sensitized by the state government to go for cultivation of various crops during the current Rabi season, it is expected that the Cooperative Banks should provide them with adequate credit for the purpose. NABARD refinance is essentially required to enable the Cooperative Banks led by the Odisha State Cooperative Bank to cope with the credit requirements of the drought affected farming community, he added.