Soon, drive to dou­ble Kisan Credit Cards to 14cr

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - Vishwa.Mo­[email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: Seek­ing to bring all land­hold­ing cul­ti­va­tors within the in­sti­tu­tional credit sys­tem, the Cen­tre is set to launch a spe­cial drive to reach out to all farm­ers with Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) by dou­bling its foot­print from 6.95 crore to around 14 crore ac­tive cards ahead of gen­eral elec­tions.

The aim is to is­sue KCCs to el­i­gi­ble farm­ers within two weeks of sub­mis­sion of ap­pli­ca­tion forms.

The In­dian Banks As­so­ci­a­tion is­sued an ad­vi­sory to all banks last week ask­ing them to waive pro­cess­ing, doc­u­men­ta­tion, in­spec­tion, ledger fo­lio charges and all other ser­vice charges for KCC and crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh — a move which may save a farmer ap­ply­ing for KCC Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000.

“The agri­cul­ture min­istry has writ­ten to all states and UTs seek­ing their co­op­er­a­tion . Idea is to sat­u­rate farm­ers with KCCs so that they can ac­cess in­stitu- tional credit and avail in­ter­est subvention,” agri­cul­ture sec­re­tary San­jay Agar­wal said.

“De­ci­sion to waive off var­i­ous ser­vice charges is a good move. It’ll save Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 of an ap­pli­cant if adopted by banks. Com­plex­i­ties in­volved in it force farm­ers to even hire lawyers to ap­proach banks for KCC,” said Sud­hir Pan­war, pres­i­dent of Kisan Jagriti Manch, which works among farm­ers in UP.

“Credit is pro­vided to farm­ers to pur­chase in­puts. In­ter­est is, how­ever, not linked to in­fla­tion. So, even 4% in­ter­est is too high for them,” said Pan­war, ar­gu­ing that if gov­ern­ment waives off in­ter­est on crop loan com­pletely, there will never be de­mand of loan waiver.

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