The distribution of Kishan Credit Card (KCC) among farmers in Bengal has been stopped for the time being due to the rush in banks following the Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
The state agriculture department had initiated a state-wide door-to-door campaign to create awareness among farmers to motivate them to take loan using KCC instead of approaching moneylenders to lend money at high rate of interest.
The initiative of the department Bangla Farmers’ Financial Inclusion Fortnight programme was scheduled in two phases. The first phase had started from November 7 and it would continue till November 21. The second fortnight is from November 28 to December 12. Under the programme, bank mitras were engaged to encourage farmers to take a KCC and there would also be street dramas, short documentaries and question answer sessions to create awareness among the farmers.
Though the KCC distribution has been stopped for the time being, awareness part of the programme would continue.
According to the sources in the state agriculture department, there were two main reasons behind stopping the distribution of KCC for the time being. First of all there is heavy rush in each and every Branch of a bank.
Thus, it is not possible for its employees to carry out the task of opening accounts for KCC. Moreover, the banks had assured of sending two employees from each Branch as bank mitras. But due to the heavy rush it is not possible for the banks to send any of their employees. In the fortnight programme the bank mitras has a major role to play as they were suppose to approach the farmers to make them understand that how easy it is to get loan from a bank instead of going to a moneylender if they have a KCC.
It may be mentioned that the state government had set a target of giving KCC to another 15 lakh farmers in 2017. At present more than 85 per cent of the 72 lakh farmers are having KCC. 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.