Odisha to re-schedule crop loans for farmers

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of increasing number of farmer suicide cases due to crop failure and burden of agriculture loans, the Odisha government today said it would reschedule crop loans for the drought affected farmers of the State.

Announcing this after returning from his five-day new Delhi tour, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the farmers should not be worried over agriculture loans.

“The State government is implementing a drought package of Rs 1000 crore and has already taken a decision to reschedule agriculture loans,” Patnaik told reporters here.

“Strong action will also be taken against unscrupulous money lenders. The State government will make all out efforts to mitigate the suffering of farmers and protect their interest,” he stated.

Asked about the crop loans taken by farmers, the chief minister said, “Farmers of the drought affected areas need not worry about repayment of their loans. The State government is with the farmers and has all along been working to protest their interest.”

Yesterday expressing concern over the rising farmer death cases agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy had asked them to refrain from such an extreme step and said the state government was keeping a close watch on the drought situation.

The state government may announce an additional package for drought-hit farmers in the state once the agriculture department submitted a final report on the drought situation by November first week, the minister said.

He also appealed to the farmers to have faith in the government.