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NCDC sanctions Rs 5000 crore to Rajasthan for farm loan waiver

Apart from the NCDC, the state has got proposals from two other banks agreeing to extend the credit and the government will decide which one to choose, depending on who was offering the lower rate of interest

jaipur Updated: May 25, 2018 22:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Farm loan,Farmer loan,Vasundhara Raje
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje in her budget speech had announced a one-time crop loan waiver of up to Rs 50,000 for small and marginal farmer.(PTI)

Looking to shore up finances to fund its promised farm loan waiver, the Rajasthan government Friday got a shot in the arm with National Cooperative Development Corporation sanctioning Rs 5000 crore as loan to the state.

This comes even as state Congress hit out at the Raje government claiming its loan waiver scheme was “burdening” the state.

Abhay Kumar, principal secretary in cooperative department confirmed the development and said he is in the possession of the sanction letter issued by the NCDC.

Apart from the NCDC, the state has got proposals from two other banks agreeing to extend the credit and the government will decide which one to choose, depending on who was offering the lower rate of interest, the official said.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje in her budget speech had announced a one-time crop loan waiver of up to Rs 50,000 for small and marginal farmers. Her government promised to bear a burden of Rs 8,000 crore giving benefit to nearly 20 lakh farmers. The government had budgeted Rs 2,000 crore for the waiver. It had been knocking the doors of the banks seeking a loan of Rs 6,000 crore especially as the camps to hand over waiver certificates were to begin from May 26. They were on Thursday later postponed to May 31.

Cooperatives minister Ajay Singh Kilak had claimed that the government would arrange Rs 5000 crore from NABARD and National Cooperative Development Corporation.

Cooperative department officials had approached multiple agencies including the NCDC in Delhi to pursue the matter. The government had given a proposal for Rs 5000 crore loan to NCDC on May 17 and it was sanctioned on May 24, the principal secretary said.

With this, the state now has Rs 7000 crore in its kitty for the loan waiver. The NCDC loan, the official said, has been given for 270 days and has to be repaid in two installments.

The government will provide guarantee for the loan that will be given to the Rajasthan State Cooperative Bank.

Meanwhile, state Congress chief Sachin Pilot hit out at the CM claiming that the loan waiver scheme was “burdening” the state which was already facing a rising fiscal deficit. Pilot’s criticism comes a day after government issued an order barring present and former ministers of the state and the Centre, MLAs, income-tax payee farmers from the Rajasthan Crop Loan Waiver Scheme, 2018. It also bars present and former officers and employees of the Centre and pensioners from the scheme.

“Fiscal deficit of the state in 2014 was Rs 1.2 lakh crore and it has shot up to Rs 2.4 lakh crore at present. CM knows that they (BJP) are not going to make government in the state (again) and is burdening the state by taking loans to fulfil promises of waiving-off loans of farmers,” Pilot told PTI.

At the Banswara camp on May 31, loans of 1.94 lakh farmers amounting to Rs 250 crore will be waived.

He said, earlier, the scheme was announced for loans taken from cooperative banks whereas 80 per cent loans were availed from non-cooperative banks.

A senior government official said that the decision by the Rajasthan Cooperative Department to leave out some categories of farmers was a policy matter of the state government.

“The financial implication of keeping the categories out of the waiver scheme has not been worked out. It was not a consideration before making the announcement and it is a policy matter decision taken by the state government,” he said on condition of anonymity.

First Published: May 25, 2018 22:24 IST