Addressing a press briefing on the second tranche of the economic package on Thursday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced two measures for the welfare of small farmers. Sitharaman declared that the NABARD shall extend additional refinance support of Rs.30,000 crore for crop loan requirement of rural cooperative banks and Regional Rural Banks. This is over and above the Rs.90,000 crore to be provided by the NABARD through the normal refinance route during 2020. This shall benefit 3 crore small and marginal farmers and help meet post-harvest and current Kharif requirements in May and June.
To benefit around 3 crore farmers, mostly small and marginal #farmers, Govt announces Rs 30,000 crores Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding through #NABARD #AatmaNirbharBharatPackage pic.twitter.com/KrVN0jBn5J— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) May 14, 2020
Furthermore, she revealed that a special drive would be undertaken to provide concessional credit to PM Kisan Yojana beneficiaries through the Kisan Credit Cards. The fishermen and animal husbandry farmers shall also be included in this drive. This will enable farmers to gain access to institutional credit at a concessional interest rate. 2.5 crore farmers stand to benefit from the credit flow of Rs.2 lakh crore.
Rs 2 lakh crore Concessional credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers through #KisanCreditCards; Fishermen and Animal Husbandry farmers will also be included in this drive#AatmaNirbharBharatPackage pic.twitter.com/Dbv3D7wpqt— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) May 14, 2020
During the briefing, the Finance Minister also informed that 3 crore farmers with agricultural loans of Rs.4.22 crore had availed the benefit of 3 months loan moratorium after the commencement of the COVID-19 crisis. The interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive on crop loans due on March 1 have been extended by May 31, 2020. Moreover, 25 lakh Kisan Credit Cards have been sanctioned with a loan limit of Rs.25,000 crore.
The Union Finance Minister noted that 63 lakh loans worth Rs.86,600 have been sanctioned in agricultural areas between March 1 to April 30. She mentioned that NABARD had refinanced the cooperative banks and regional rural banks to the tune of Rs.29,500 crore. The state governments have been provided Rs.4,200 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund during March 2020. Additionally, a working capital limit of Rs.6,700 crore has been sanctioned to the state government entities for the procurement of agricultural produce since March 2020.