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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Thursday launched, 'Balaram Yojana' to provide crop loans to landless farmers. Under the new scheme the landless cultivators will get loans through joint liability groups (JLGs).

The scheme was announced in a meeting headed by the State Chief Secretary, Asit Kumar Tripathy. Under 'Balaram' scheme, the government has set a target to provide farm loans to 7 lakh landless farmers in next two years. It has set aside Rs 1,040 crore for the purpose.

IMAGE and Agricultural Technology Management Agencies (ATMA) will coordinate the implementation of the yojana at the State and the district levels, respectively. In rural and small towns, around 7,000 branches of several banks and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies will coordinate the implementation.

These branches have been directed to provide loan to at least 10 JLGs this year, which means 70,000 groups will get farm loan under the new yojana.

Each JLG will get a maximum of Rs 1.60 lakh loan. Members of Odisha Krushak Sathi and agriculture employees will help constitute the groups and direct them to banks.

The interest rate and subsidy on the loan amount will be decided as per the guidelines of the State farm loan rules, a government release read.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

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