Odisha govt asks banks to give timely Rabi-crop loan

Bhubaneswar: With debt-ridden farmers allegedly committing suicide in the state, Odisha government today asked all banks to ensure adequate and timely advance of loan to peasants for current Rabi crop, official sources said.

The banks have also been asked to go for re-phasing of Kharif loan in view of the drought condition due to deficient rainfall this monsoon.

The directive to the banks was issued by Chief Secretary G C Pati while addressing a state level Bankers Committee meeting here.

Pati also directed the banks to revise the unit wise scale of finance for rabi crop so that adequate money is available to the farmers to grow crops and they do not have to borrow money from any other source.

The banks have also been asked to ensure 100 per cent agricultural insurance on the crops so as to protect the farmers from any loss caused by calamities.

The meeting also resolved that no bank will collect Kharif loan from the famers at present and all banks will extend agricultural loans to farmers for Rabi crop during 2015-16.

The credit requirement through Kisan Credit Cards will be encouraged and the technical persons of the banks will advise farmers to go for more non-paddy cultivation to make up the loss incurred during the Kharif.

As scarcity of fodder is likely to be encountered more particularly in drought-affected areas, banks will also finance fodder cultivation during this season, Pati said.

The Chief Secretary has directed the lead bank managers and officers of agriculture department present in the meeting to revise the scale of finance for Rabi in the rest of the districts within 7 days.