Budget 2024: The government may announce increase in the agricultural loan target to Rs 22-25 lakh crore for the next financial year in the upcoming interim budget. It will also ensure that every eligible farmer has access to institutional credit. Sources gave this information. The government's agriculture-credit target for the current financial year is Rs 20 lakh crore.
Currently, the government provides two percent interest subvention on short-term agricultural loans up to Rs 3 lakh for all financial institutions. This means that farmers are getting agricultural loans up to Rs 3 lakh at a concessional rate of seven percent per year.
An additional interest rebate of three percent per year is also being provided to farmers who make timely payments. Farmers can also take long term loans but the interest rate is as per the market rate.
Sources said that the agriculture-credit target for the financial year 2024-25 may increase to Rs 22-25 lakh crore. More focus is being given to agri-credit and the government is running several campaigns to identify the left out eligible farmers and bring them into the credit network.
Sources said the Agriculture Ministry has also created a separate division on 'Credit' (for loans) as part of a focused approach. Moreover, sources also said that loan disbursement for various agricultural and allied activities has been exceeding the target in the last 10 years.
Government data shows that in the current financial year, about 82 per cent of the farm-credit target of Rs 20 lakh crore by December 2023 has been achieved. According to official data, loans worth about Rs 16.37 lakh crore have been disbursed by both private and public banks in the said period.
Sources said, "Agricultural loan distribution is likely to exceed the target in this financial year also." During the financial year 2022-23, the total agricultural credit disbursement was Rs 21.55 lakh crore. This was more than the target of Rs 18.50 lakh crore set for this period.
According to the data, 7.34 crore farmers have received loans through the network of Kisan Credit Card (KCC). About Rs 8.85 lakh crore was outstanding till March 31, 2023.
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