Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said state-run banks would waive farm loans by June 30, as outlined in his budget speech on February 29.
"Yes, they (banks) will implement the farm loan waiver scheme by this month-end. The process is on. The scheme is under implementation by the public sector, regional rural and cooperative banks. The beneficiaries have been identified," Chidambaram told IANS on the sidelines of a bank event here.
In his budget speech, the finance minister had set June 30 as the deadline for waiving bank loans to small and marginal farmers with holdings up to three hectares. The size of the loan waiver scheme was increased in May to Rs 716.8 billion from the Rs 600 billion set initially, as the number of beneficiaries has been estimated to be about 40 million.
The waiver will enable the beneficiary farmers to become eligible for fresh institutional credit for the kharif crop.
Chidambaram Monday visited two Canara Bank and Vijaya Bank branches, as well as a rural bank branch on the outskirts of the city to interact with agricultural borrowers and supervise the debt relief scheme to farmers.