The Central government has asked state level bankers' committees to facilitate timely restructuring of crop loans, according to an official statement released by Ministry of Agriculture.
Following the restructuring, the loan repayment period would be extended. These initiatives are a part to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's announcement of major relief measures to the farmers and the poor engaged in Agriculture affected by crop damage in the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorms.
The government has also asked the insurance companies to settle the claims expeditiously, State Governments have also been asked to ensure early completion of formalities for settling the insurance claims of farmers.
Under the Modified National Insurance Scheme, the farmers are eligible to get claim of up to 25 per cent without waiting for the result of crop cutting experiments. Similarly, under Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme, farmers are eligible to receive the claims within 45 days from end of the risk period. The State Governments have been asked to have meetings with insurance companies so that the process of settlement of claims is expedited.
Another very important decision has been taken that the norms of NDRF/SDRF will automatically be reviewed during April each year based on annual inflation derived from Wholesale Price Index and would be rounded off to next multiple of 100.
In a major initiative, Narendra Modi has already announced that the farmers will now be eligible for input subsidy if 33 percent or more of their crop is damaged. Earlier, they used to get input subsidy only when the crop damage was 50 percent or more.
The Prime Minister has also announced enhancement of the existing quantum of financial assistance by 50 per cent in case of crop losses. These compensatory measures have been carried out after revising the norms under National Disaster Response Fund/ State Disaster Response Fund which will be effective from 1st April 2015. However, a special dispensation has been made for the farmers affected by hailstorms in different parts of the country during February/March 2015 and they will be given assistance under the new norms.