Rural banking system needs Rs 9500cr to finance new farm loans

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Mumbai, June 27 (UNI) The rural banking system would require Rs 9500 crore to finance new farm loans, according to a state government estimate.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshukh, in a high level meeting today, expressed the hope that the Centre would come up with a plan to ensure that the benefit of the loan waiver scheme reaches the maxumum number of farmers.

The meeting, chaired by Mr Deshmukh, was attended among others by Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Marketing Minister Harshavardhan Patil, Minister of State for Animal Husbandry Hassan Mushrif, NABARD Chairman Umesh Sarangi and Chief Secretary Johny Joseph.

The fresh guidelines of the Centre has indicated that the number of beneficiaries in Marathwada and Vidarbha has gone down, an official release here said.

The State Government has asked NABARD to prepare a system whereby all information about the loan waiver would become available on day-to-day basis from commercial banks.

The meeting also discussed the modalities for providing the benefits to farmers whose loans were in arrears before March 31, 1997. The meeting also discussed the issue of the upper limit placed on land holding for securing the benefit of the loan waiver scheme.

UN XR/JM MAZ RL PM1925

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