Himachal seeks amendment to loan-waiver scheme

July 4th, 2008 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

Shimla, July 4 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has sought amendment to the central government’s loan-waiver scheme. In a missive to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday, Dhumal said that under the existing scheme many hill farmers would be deprived of the loan, unless necessary amendments were carried out.

Himachal Pradesh is a hilly state where marginal farmers have limited land holdings and the majority consist of small and marginal farmers, the chief minister said.

“Primary agriculture cooperative societies need to be permitted full reimbursement of the rate of interest over the loans it had disbursed to the farmers for the year 2006-07 and the period prior to it,” said Dhumal.

Banks have calculated Rs.2.6 billion (260 crore) relief for 99,000 small and marginal farmers in the state under the loan-waiver scheme.

Ripan Murgai, convener of the Himachal state-level bankers’ committee, told IANS that various banks in the state had identified 94,976 small and marginal farmers who had been given complete waiver of loan dues amounting to Rs.2.42 billion.

He said 3,789 other farmers had been provided a debt relief of Rs.168 million.

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