New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) A task force set up by the Maharashtra government has asked the central government to extend farm credit net to cover 100% farmers in Maharashtra, with a five-year repayment cycle to cover all expenses incurred by farmers.
Minister of State Kishore Tiwari, who is chairman of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM), submitted a draft on 'Farm Credit Policy' to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), which he said can be replicated across the country.
"We have proposed five-year credit term to cover all expenses of farmers such as cultivation, children's education, house construction and marriage of daughters. The present coverage of the farm credit is 20%. We have asked the PMO to widen its coverage to 100% on an urgent basis," said Tiwari, who is a farmers' leader as well.
The recommendations in the draft policy include 4% interest rate for crop loan, moratorium on debt recovery till farmers' capability of repayment is restored, establishment of Agriculture Risk Fund and issuance of Kisan Credit Cards to women farmers.
In order to address the agrarian crisis, Tiwari said, an integrated approach targeting the core issues of credit, crop and cost management is required.
"It aims at providing sustainable solutions to improve productivity and income flow," he said
He also asked the PMO to grant Rs 40,000 crore relief package Maharashtra to compensate for the funds that would be required for the recent loan waiver it has announced.