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Govt set to rollout farm loan waiver

The Finance Minister has asked public sector banks to come out with the farmers' list for debt waiver scheme by June 25.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 19, 2008 02:21 PM IST

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday asked public sector banks to come out with the list of farmers for the purpose of debt waiver scheme by June 25, so that these loans could be waived off by the end of this month, as outlined in the budget.

"On June 25, we hope to get the list (of farmers)," the Finance Minister told various PSU banks heads through a video-conferencing.

He asked these banks to get themselves satisfied by June 23 that inspection and superchecks in this regard have been done and list of farmers prepared.

On June 24, Financial Services Secretary Arun Ramanathan will get in touch with PSU banks Chairmen to take the confirmation that the list is prepared, he said.

The Finance Minister also clarified that interest not serviced as on December 31, 2007 will also be included for the purpose of debt waiver in the case of investment loans.

In case of loans to farmers through self-help groups, Chidambaram said disaggregated data could be maintained in books of these groups, provided banks are satisfied with that data.

Under the loan waiver scheme, loans provided directly to group of individual farmers like Self Help Groups will also be included, but disaggregated data of the loan extended to each farmer must be maintained.

In his budget speech, the Finance Minister has set June 30 as the deadline for waiving debt of farmers with holdings up to three hectares.

The size of the loan waiver was subsequently enhanced to Rs 71,680 crore, and its coverage widened to include seven million more marginal and small farmers, taking the number of such beneficiaries to 43 million from the originally proposed 40 million.

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