Amid the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced an extension of interest waiver on repayment of crop loans from the cooperative sector till 30th June 2021.
The last date for repayment expired on the 31st of March, however, in view of the ongoing crisis the repayment period has been extended for farmers who had taken loans from the cooperative sector between 1st April to 30th September 2020.
Additionally, the state of Gujarat has decided to reimburse the full interest rebate on repayment made till the 30th of June which will provide big relief to the farmers who have taken crop loans.
According to NABARD’s Credit Policy, the lenders in the cooperative sector were provided short term crop loans at 7% interest, the Central Government has provided a 3% rebate on interest and the Gujarat Government has provided a 4% rebate on this for timely repayment.
The aim is to charge no interest on loans to farmers to promote timely repayment. The farmers can now repay the interest free loans up to June 30, 2021.
No hike in prices of fertilisers
The Centre in April had directed fertiliser companies to not increase the maximum retail price (MRP) of non-urea fertilisers such as DAP and asked them to stick to the old rates considering the ongoing crisis.
Mansukh Mandviya the Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Union Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers had tweeted saying “Giving priority to the interest of the farming community, there won’t be any increase in prices of fertilisers”.
किसानों के हित को प्राधान्य देते हुए फर्टिलाइजर्स की कीमत में कोई बढ़ोतरी नही होगी। pic.twitter.com/ueCGo8saiq— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) April 9, 2021
“Farmers will continue to get DAP, MoP and NPK nutrients at old rates,” he added
Direct Benefit Transfers to farmers of Punjab & Haryana
For the first time, the farmers from Punjab are receiving direct online payments for their produce at the determined MSP and at least 1,64,455 farmers from Punjab have been able to benefit from the DBT scheme.
This was possible after the central government refused to extend the deadline to implement the DBT process just ahead of the procurement after the state sought yet another exemption.
The Centre had been pursuing the Punjab government since 2016-16 to get the state to implement direct online payment into farmers’ accounts. However, the state had been routinely approaching the Centre for granting exemption and extension of time.