CM urges Jaitley not to hike interest rate on crop loan

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday wrote a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley urging him to reduce interest rate on crop loans.

The chief minister wrote, “As crop loans are converted into medium term loans, the interest rate should remain at the same level instead of charging higher interest.”

Besides, in the letter, the chief minister requested Jaitley to extend the interest incentive of three percent on crop loans to medium term crop loanees while mentioning about the damage caused to the crop due to the drought situation in the State.

Patnaik wrote, “The incentive made available to prompt paying farmers of crop loans should also be extended to the medium term (conversion) loans to provide relief to the affected farming community.

The chief minister also cited about the State government’s decision to convert the crop loans advanced during Kharif season this year as medium term (conversion) loans.

“In case of crop damage between 33% and 50%, the crop loans shall be converted to medium term (conversion) loans repayable within a period of two years with moratorium of one year. Similarly, where the crop damage is 50% and more, the conversion facility of the crop loans can be allowed for a maximum of five years with one year moratorium.”

He also hinted about his earlier meeting with the Union Finance minister and discussion about the damage to crops due to scanty rainfall in Odisha.