KCC loanees to benefit under Budgetary loan waiver: Govt

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New Delhi, Mar 18 (UNI) The Government today said farmers who have taken loans under the Kisan Credit Card policy will also be eligible for loan waiver announced in Budget 2008-09.

Replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal said the waiver would be given on agricultural loans, procurement and short term credit and other eligibility guidelines for the waiver would be worked out.

''Schemes will be formulated and all the aspects of what should come under the budgetary loan waiver will be taken into account.

The aim of the waiver is that all farmers benefit from the scheme,'' he said in reply to the question raised by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha about the Kisan Credit Card loans being rolling credit.

He informed the House that last year, 85 lakh cards were issued and till date more than 7 crore KCC cards were issued to farmers.

Pointing out an error in the latest Economic Survey about the KCC, Mr Sinha said the policy was launched in 1998 under the NDA regime and not in 1988 as reported in the document ''It is yet another attempt by the UPA to misappropriate one of our schemes,'' Mr Sinha said which drew support from other BJP members.

The Minister replied that it was a typographic mistake and pointed out to 1998 being mentioned as the date of launch of the scheme in the same survey.

''We give due credit wherever it is required,'' he added.

On SP leader Amar Singh's query about the interest rates being charged to the farmers, the Minister said loans were being offered at 7 per cent to farmers.

''The interest rate is 9 per cent on which 2 per cent is paid by the government and the money has already being disbursed,'' he added.

About the Kisan Credit Card policy, Mr Bansal said all categories of farmers, including tenant farmers, share croppers, oral lessees were eligible for a card from Cooperative Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Commercial Banks.

''The farmers derive many benefits from KCC including timely credit in a hassle free manner, card is renewed within three years with ease and any number of drawals and repayments within the sanctioned credit limit,'' he added.


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