NABARD asks State for early completion of Rupay kisan card conversion process

Bhubaneswar: Apprehending difficulties in disbursing kharif loans due to inordinate delay in conversion of old Kisan Credit Card (KCC) into Rupay Kisan Credit Card (RKCC), the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has cautioned the State government asking it to complete the process at the earliest for smooth monetary transaction for farmers.

In a letter to Odisha chief secretary, the NABARD has rued that the government has not issued a single Rupay card between between 01, January 2017 and 12th May 2017.

“As per the data submitted by Co-operative banks of your State on our on-line portal ENSURE, there are around 31.98 lakhs live KCC holders as on December 2016, who are to be covered under RKCs against which no cards have been issued between 01 January, 2017 and 12th, May 2017 indicating that there is no movement with regard to card issuance in your State”, the letter read.

Even though the State had targeted to convert 12.71 lakh KCC into Rupay cards by March 31st, only one co-operative bank in the State has done the same so far.

On the other hand, the farmers are unaware about the function of the new Rupay cards even as the kharif season is round the corner.

“We avail pesticide, fertilisers and seeds through the KCCs and are not aware about the Rupay card,” said a farmer of Kalyansinghpur in Rayagada district.

Another farmer from the district also echoed similar voice. “I have only heard about the Rupay card, but do not know much about its function and benefits,” he added.

But, the State government has accused the NABARD of lacking fact-based information and assured to provide new Rupay cards before kharif season.

“NABARD information is not based on facts and figures. In comparison to other States, Odisha has successfully introduced highest number of Rupay Cards. We expect that all the farmers would get new cards before the onset of kharif season”, Cooperative Minister Surya Narayan Patro said.

As many as 44.65 lakh farmers were provided with KCCs through cooperative banks in State. However, on March 31 last year, the Centre had announced to introduce Rupay card instead of KCC for all financial transaction of farmers. Even though a year has lapsed since the announcement, the State has delayed the process of conversion.