Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday announced on Friday that the state recorded a 7.5% growth rate in issuing agricultural loans in the last quarter and that 99% of crop loans were disbursed.
He was addressing the 213th State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC), where he asked senior bank employees to focus on doubling farmers' income and reducing their investment costs. He called upon the banks to provide proper market facilities for crops and supporting them at the time of natural disasters.
"The government has started various initiatives to reduce the investment cost to farmers. The government has been providing financial assistance of Rs 13,500 per annum through Rythu Bharosa Scheme," said the Chief Minister. He said that 50% of farmers have less than half a hectare of land in the state and 80% of investment cost to those farmers would be covered through this scheme.
Reddy said that Rs 7,500 is being credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries before the kharif season in May, Rs 4,000 in October and Rs 2,000 to farmers for Sankranti in January.
"The state government paid all arrears of the previous government pertaining to interest-free loans and encouraging farmers to take interest-free loans. The government has paid Rs 1,100 crore subsidy amount pending to industries from 2014 and waived off the fixed electricity charges during COVID-19, " he said.
The Chief Minister also asked the banks to consider paying interest to Self Help Groups (SHGs) on a timely basis. Jagan said that SHGs have deposited Rs 7,500 crore in their accounts for 2020-21 for which there are only paid a 3% interest which doesnâ€™t get credited on time. The chief minister pointed out that banks using the deposited money charge an interest rate of 11% to 13% for a loan.
Banks were also urged to disburse loans to tenant farmers as Crop Cultivated Right Cards (CCRC) were distributed to them. The CM also asked the banks to support MSMEs as they play a key role in the financial sector.
He explained to them about several other empowering and welfare initiatives of the government towards minorities and backward classes.