Minister for Education, Siddhartha Bhattacharya launched MMKSSY, benefitting 12,344 small and marginal farmers of the Hailakandi district of Assam.
Minister for Education, Siddhartha Bhattacharya formally launched a slew of schemes for farmers, including a partial loan reimbursement programme and another that will make crop loans effectively interest-free, aiming to give a fillip to the flow of agricultural credit.
Minister Bhattacharya launched the Mukhya Mantri Krishi Sa Sajuli Yojna (MMKSSY) benefitting 12,344 small and marginal farmers of the district at a function held at Deputy Commissioner’s office premises here on Monday.
Bhattacharya said the scheme aims at promoting farm mechanisation by giving financial assistance of Rs.5,000 each to a poor farmer to buy agriculture implements and tools. He said the scheme would go a long way in enhancing the income of the farmers by boosting their productivity through farm mechanisation.
The amount will be transferred to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode. Altogether five lakh farmers of the state will be covered under MMKSSY.
Bhattacharya launched the Assam Farmers’ Credit Subsidy Scheme (AFCSS), 2018, under which the government will reimburse 25% of the loans taken or repaid by farmers this financial year, with a limit of Rs 25,000. This scheme will cover 4 lakh farmers and involve a financial outgo of Rs 500 crore.
The Minister also launched the Assam Farmers’ Interest Relief Scheme (AFIRS), which will extend support to farmers who are prompt in repaying their loans, by providing a 4% interest subvention on short-term crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh. “This scheme will be aligned with the Government of India scheme under which prompt-paying farmers are extended a benefit on interest subvention of 3%. This effective rate of interest for a farmer accessing short-term crop loan up to a ceiling of Rs 2 lakh will be zero, ” he said.
This scheme will cost the government exchequer Rs 200 crore and benefit 11 lakh farmers.
Another scheme launched by Bhattacharya was the Assam Farmers’ Incentive Scheme (AFIS). “Out of the 27 lakh agricultural households, only 19 lakh farm families are covered by Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs). Many KCCs are inoperative which is impairing the credit flow. Therefore, to open credit line, the state government will pay a one-time cash incentive up to Rs 10,000 for reactivating KCC accounts. This scheme will benefit 3 lakh farmers and will involve a financial outgo of Rs 300 crore,” the Minister said.
These schemes are available also to small tea and rubber growers.
Assam has 27 lakh agricultural households spread across 26,000 villages which are covered by about 1,800 rural and semi-urban branches of commercial banks and regional rural banks. However, it is seen that in a majority of cases, the flow of much-needed short-term agricultural credit to the farmers is clogged.
The idea behind the credit linked subsidy schemes is to institutionalise a credit culture that incentivises the prompt-paying farmers to pay their dues in time.
Speaking on the occasion, District Development Commissioner, Amalendu Roy urged the farmers of the district to avail the schemes to increase their production and to enhance their income.
Chief Executive Officer, Hailakandi Zilla Parishad, NKSK Singha, Superintendent of Police, Mohneesh Mishra, SDO (Sadar) Prodip Timung, District Agriculture Officer, Sudipta Dev Ray, Subdivisional Agriculture Officer, AR Ahmed and bank officials were present on the occasion.
Some of the selected beneficiaries were felicitated by the Minister and dignitaries present.