The Maharashtra government on Thursday said farmers who repay crop loan up to Rs 3 lakh regularly will be charged zero per cent interest. A decision to this effect was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray here. Earlier, there was 1 per cent concession in interest rate if crop loan between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 3 lakh was repaid on time. The concession has been now raised by by 2 per cent (total 3 per cent which has been waived), a statement from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said.
The cabinet decision, which comes at the start of the kharif season, waives 3 per cent interest on crop loan up to Rs 3 lakh and makes it interest-free as the Centre, too, has done away with 3 per cent interest on such farm credits. In the state budget this year, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, had announced that crop loan up to Rs 3 lakh will be charged at zero per cent interest. Under the Dr Punjabrao Deshmukh crop interest subsidy scheme, farmers who repay their interest of loan up to Rs 3 lakh get interest subsidy. Earlier, there was 3 per cent interest subsidy on loan up to Rs 1 lakh, 1 per cent concession on interest for loan between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 3 lakh.
Now, there will be additional 2 per cent concession if loan up to Rs 3 lakh is repaid on time, the CMO statement said. The central government also gives 3 per cent concession on crop loan up to Rs 3 lakh if repaid on time. Hence, farmers will get 6 per cent concession and they will repay their short-term crop loan at zero per cent interest rate, it said. In another decision, the cabinet approved a proposal of mangroves and coral conservation through the Green Climate Fund. The project will be implemented in 11 talukas of four coastal districts, the statement said. Talukas of Devgad, Malwan,Vengurla (Sindhudurg district), Dapoli, Guhaghar, Rajapur, Ratnagiri (Ratnagiri district), Shrivardhan, Alibag (Raigad district) and Palghar, Dahanu (Palghar district) will be covered under the initiative.
The project, that seek to enhance climate resilience of India’s coastal communities, is being implemented in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha with financial assistance of the United Nations Development Programme and the Green Climate Fund. In Maharashtra, the project was implemented first in Sindhudurg district. The state’s financial share in the project will be Rs 140.90 crore and its duration is till December 31, 2025, the statement said.