Govt announces measures to help farmers post-demonitisation
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government on Wednesday announced a host of measures to support the farmers who have been suffering due to the cancellation of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes.
The government had already announced special measures, including higher cash drawing limits for farmers and registered traders in APMC markets/mandis, extension of time limit for payment of crop insurance premium and purchase of seeds with old high denomination bank notes of Rs.500 from certain select Government centres.
The additional steps such as ensuring availability of cash in rural branches of banks and 1.55 lakh post offices and network of banking correspondents has also been made available with higher cash holding limits to meet the requirements of people in the rural areas.
The collective efforts of the government were to promote digital economy among the rural masses and to benefit farmers in the current Rabi season.
“NABARD has made available Rs.21,000 crores limit to the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) through State Cooperative Banks for Rabi agricultural operations. This will enable the DCCBs to sanction and disburse crop loans to the farmers through the network of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS),” Ministry of Finance said in a statement. The move will benefit over 40% of the small and marginal farmers who avail institutional credit/crop loans.
The government has advised RBI and the Banks to make the required cash available to the DCCB to ensure quick and unhindered flow of credit and required cash to the farmers, for sowing and other agricultural operations during the current rabi season.
As a relief to small borrowers, who have availed loans up to Rs.1 crore, RBI has decided to provide additional 60 days time for repayment of dues. This will be applicable to personal and crop loans including housing and agricultural loans, taken from banks, NBFCs, DCCBs, PACS or NBFC- MFIs.
The government has also issued 30 crore RuPay debit cards, including those issued to Jan Dhan Account holders, and to promote greater use of debit cards, Public Sector Banks and some of the private sector Banks have decided to waive the MDR charges till December 31, 2016. The transaction charges – including the charges for switching services – will also remain waived till December 31.
RBI has decided to increase the monthly transaction limit for individuals from Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000 to promote greater usage of payments through e-wallets.