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Not in favour of farm loan waiver: Govt informs Parliament

Not in favour of farm loan waiver: Govt informs Parliament

Minister of state for agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that since 2006-07, farm loans up to Rs 3 lakh are provided at a lower interest rate of 7% per annum.

The government is not in favour of farm loan waiver as it negatively impacts credit and recovery climate, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

However, several measures have been initiated to reduce the debt burden on farmers and increase availability of institutional credit, minister of state for agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

“The government is not in favour of loan waiver as it negatively impacts credit and recovery climate and has systematic consequences,” he said.

Highlighting steps taken to reduce debt burden on farmers, he said since 2006-07, farm loans up to Rs 3 lakh are provided at a lower interest rate of 7% per annum. Additional interest subvention of 3% is given to those farmers who repay their loan promptly.

This scheme is operational in 2017-18, he added.

Asked about impact of GST on marketing of agri-produce by farmers, Shekhawat in a separate reply said: “There are no reported cases of farmers facing problems regarding marketing of their produce due to GST….”

There are also no reported cases whereby benefits of GST have gone directly to manufacturers and dealers, he added.

On transfer of administrative control of Rubber Board to Department of Agriculture, the minister said the cabinet secretariat has decided to maintain status quo.

Department of agriculture has said that it is not justifiable to transfer the functions relating to production, development and domestic marketing in respect of plantation crops from the department of commerce to itself, he said.

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  • Time for Parliament to decide once for all whether ‘farming’ is to be treated as one kind of business or as an inescapable social obligation. On the choice between these will depend how Govt. should handle the sector. If farming is business, then it needs to be looked at like other business activities in all respects, if it is a pastime that is inescapable for those involved in it, it needs to be protected totally. The present attitude of the farmers and politicians supporting them is that all gains shall belong to farmers, all losses to the Govt. This is just ridiculous, not how other world govts look at it.

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