Government mulling raising land ceiling for loan waiver

April 25th, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The government is considering the possibility of raising the land ceiling from two to five hectares for eligibility to the farmers’ loan waiver scheme, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Friday. He also informed the Lok Sabha that he had summoned a meeting of the heads of public sector banks May 1 to ensure that there was no disruption in the disbursal of farmers’ loans.

“The guidelines for the loan waiver scheme will be issued soon. Meanwhile, I have called a meeting of public sector banks (directors and chairpersons) to ensure that normal loans to farmers are not stopped,” Chidambaram said.

Responding to questions on fine-tuning the Rs.600 billion loan waiver scheme, Chidambaram said, “every suggestion is under consideration.”

The MPs had asked whether the government was considering raising the land ceiling from two hectares (which is the present cut off mark for eligibility) to five hectares.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had proposed the amendment in the Lok Sabha earlier. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar later shot down any changes in the present scheme.

Chidambaram assured the Lok Sabha there would be no disruption in disbursing normal loans to farmers.

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