Bhubaneswar: Interest subvention worth Rs 441.76 crore has been disbursed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to more than 35 lakh small and marginal farmers in the second phase of the 2022-23 fiscal year.
This move is aimed at providing financial relief to farmers who have been grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges in recent times.
All the cooperative banks and 2,409 primary agricultural cooperative societies in Odisha have benefited from this discount on farm loan interest.
In the first phase of the scheme, an interest subvention of Rs 415.17 crore was given, and overall, farmers received a total interest discount of Rs 856.99 crore. Notably, farmers will not have to pay any interest for crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh. Out of 35 lakh farmers, 30 lakh are small and marginal farmers.
Chief Minister Patnaik, while disbursing the interest subvention, emphasized the importance of agriculture in Odisha’s economy and development.
He said, “The charioteers of our new Odisha, strong Odisha are our farmers, mothers, and young women. So I have always emphasized your empowerment.”
The Chief Minister also highlighted the special budget that has been made to empower the farmers.
Interest-free agricultural loans up to Rs 1 lakh, Kalia education scholarship, and other schemes are being provided for the welfare of the families engaged in farming.
Kiran Sahu, a farmer’s son in Ganjam, received a scholarship to study at Berhampur Medical College, which was one of the examples of how the Kalia scheme has benefited farmers in the state, the Chief Minister said.
He also mentioned that Odisha is the first state to provide interest-free loans to farmers and implement welfare schemes like Kalia.
He expressed his happiness that due to today’s interest reduction, farmers will not have to pay a single rupee of interest.
The cooperative movement has become stronger today, the Chief Minister said, adding that “sixty percent of the crop credit is provided by the cooperative sector alone.”
Stating that the farmers are our pride, the Chief Minister said, “Due to their hard work and determination, Odisha has become a leading state in the country in the field of agriculture. I am working and will continue to work for the welfare of farmers.”
Minister Atanu Sabyasachi lauded the state government for its commitment to the upliftment of farmers in the state.
In the program, three beneficiaries – Reena Sethi, Nikunj Bihari Kaap, and Savita Samantharay – explained how they were able to sustain their families through farming and business due to the interest concession on major loans.
Expressing gratitude to the Chief Minister, they said that many families have become self-reliant today due to the interest rebate scheme.
The interest subvention scheme is a significant initiative of the Odisha government to support small and marginal farmers in the state. The scheme has been designed to provide financial assistance to farmers, who are the backbone of the state’s economy. It will ease the burden of interest payments.