Punjab seeks immediate reduction in rate of interest on agri loans

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New Delhi, Oct 10 (UNI) Punjab has sought immediate intervention of the Government to reduce the rate of interest on agriculture loans from 9 to 7 per cent, keeping in view the conditions of the Punjab farmers.

''It will encourage the farmers and investment in the creation of the infrastructure Development of agriculture for development in the State,'' said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Cooperation, Defence Services Welfare, Grievances&Pension Minister while interacting during the National level session of the Finance and Cooperative Ministers of all the States organised here today.

The session was organised by the Union Finance Ministry and presided over by Mr Sharad Pawar, Union Agriculture Minister and Mr P Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister.

Capt Singh urged the Government to provide for 100 per cent financial assistance for losses on account of agricultural and non agricultural loans to cleanse the balance sheets of the Primary Cooperative Agricultural Rural Development banks.

He said has 100 per cent accumulated losses on account of non agricultural loans were not provided then the balance sheets of Primary Cooperative Agricultural Rural Development Banks would not be fully cleared of the losses.

Capt Singh also suggested modification to certain clauses in the Vaidyanathan Committee Report of Short Term Cooperative Credit Structure. He said the recommendations of the Vaidyanathan Committee do not provide any real benefit to Cooperative Financial Institutions in the State like Punjab which have performed well over the years and have generated adequate profits.

He said that Vaidyanathan Committee was rewarded with massive financial assistance to those states whose credit cooperative failed to perform where the Short Term Credit Cooperatives in Punjab are entitled to a meagre financial assistance of Rs 84 crores from out of a total package of about Rs 145 crores and this financial assistance forms only 0.57 per cent of the total financial package.

He also requested to review it and give due share to Punjab in the package.

UNI

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