2.9 cr farmers benefitted from loan waiver scheme

New Delhi: More than 2.9 crore farmers have benefitted from loan waiver scheme so far, for which the government has released Rs 52,419 crore, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

A total of 1.04 crore farmers have been benefitted under the scheme from public sector banks, private banks and local areas banks, and 1.89 crore in respect of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and Cooperative Banks, Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The government has so far released Rs 52,419.88 crore to the lending institutions as reimbursement under the scheme, he said.

A scheme of agricultural debt waiver and debt relief for farmers, with total value of overdue loans being waived estimated at Rs 50,000 crore, and a one-time settlement (OTS) relief on the overdue loans at Rs 10,000 crore was announced in the Union Budget 2008-09.

In reply to an another question on insurance scheme for farmers, the minister said a total of 37,606,380 hectares were insured in the country during 2010-11.

The minister said maximum areas covered under insurance scheme were in Rajasthan, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

Rawat said that at present the agriculture ministry is implementing four crop insurance schemes -- National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS), Pilot Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS), Pilot Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) and Pilot Coconut Palm Insurance Scheme (CPIS).

All schemes are demand driven and there is no ceiling on funds by the government for payment of the claims under these schemes, he said, adding that requirement of funds depends on crop yield, weather conditions and level of penetration of the schemes.