Sivaganga (TN): UPA Government was taking various pro-farmer steps, including hiking the support price for various crops such as paddy and cotton and offering low-interest loans, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Saturday.
The procurement price for paddy which was Rs.650 per quintal had been increased to Rs.1,350 a quintal. Similarly, cotton support price had also been hiked, he said inaugurating the Branch of the Oriental Bank of Commerce at Milaganur, about 40 km from here in his native district.
Farm loan target had been increased from Rs.60,000 crore to Rs two lakh crore this year and the interest rate for it had been reduced to seven per cent, he said.
Those who promptly repaid their loans need to pay only four per cent interest, he said listing out various steps taken for the welfare of farmers.
Chidamabram also said the foodgrain stock in the country had increased to 2.60 lakh crore tonnes and was able to export wheat.
"We were importing wheat once up on a time. Now we are in a situation wherein we can export wheat. I salute the farmers for this," he said.
Chairman of the Oriental Bank of Commerce S.L.Bansal presided over the function in which bank Executive Directors V.Kannan and Bupinder Nayyar were also present.