In a bid to motivate farmers to take loan using their Kisan Credit Card (KCC) instead of approaching moneylenders to lend money at high rate of interest, the state Agriculture Department has initiated a state-wide door-to-door campaign to create awareness among farmers.
The farmers will also be made aware of the fact that a KCC holder also enjoys the free-of-cost insurance for their crops.
Purnendu Basu, the state agriculture minister, said that around 85 per cent of the farmers in the state are at present having KCC. But there are two basic problems. First of all farmers still show reluctance in approaching the banks for loan as they apprehend the documentation process that they need to go through to get the loan sanctioned. Secondly, often the farmers are instigated not to return the loan on time by some people saying that what would they do if there will be any natural calamity.
Thus, the banks have engaged 14,000 bank mitras to let the people know that they will be benefitted more if the loan amount is cleared on time. They would also let the farmers understand that how easy it is to get loan from a bank instead of going to a moneylender. The bank mitras will be visiting door-to-door of the farmers to create awareness among them.
Basu further said bank mitras will also let the farmers know that they would not have to pay interest at the rate of 7 per cent if they clear their loan amount within the stipulated time. Moreover, they would also be eligible for the crops insurance for which the state government bears the entire expense.
Pradip Majumdar, the agriculture advisor to the Chief Minister, said that besides engaging the bank mitras there will be street dramas, short documentaries and question answer sessions to create awareness among the farmers. The Bangla Farmers’ Financial Inclusion Fortnight will continue from November 7 to 21 and November 28 to December 12.
Manas Dhara, convener of the State Level Bankers’ Committee said that at present more than 85 per cent of the 72 lakh farmers are having KCC. The state government has target of giving KCC to another 15 lakh farmers in 2017. KCC was issued to 10 lakh farmers in 2014-15 fiscal and the average rate of lending was Rs 38,000. Around 62 per cent of them had returned the loan amount. According to the data provided by 22 out of 42 banks, KCC of around 6 lakh farmers have become dormant for not clearing the loan amount and it amounts to around Rs 1700 crore. The banks had given a loan of Rs 43,600 crore in 2015-16 fiscal while have decided to give a loan of Rs 52,551 crore in 2017-18 financial year.