On Monday, the Union Cabinet approved the increase in minimum support price (MSP) for 14 kharif crops. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a cabinet briefing that the revised prices will provide farmers nearly 50-83 percent more than the cost.
MSP of paddy and jowar had been increased by 50 percent each over the cost of cultivation to Rs 1,868 and Rs 2,620 respectively. MSP of bajra was hiked by 83 percent over the cost of cultivation to Rs 2,150.
Among other produce, the MSP for Cotton (Rs 5,515 per quintal) ragi, moong and groundnut have been raised by 50 percent.
It was also announced that the cabinet has approved the extension of repayment date to up to 31 August 2020 for Standard Short-Term loans up to Rs 3 lakh advanced for agriculture and allied activities by banks, which have become due or shall become due between 1 March and 31 August 2020 with continued benefit of 2 percent Interest Subvention (IS) to Banks and 3 percent Prompt Repayment Incentive (PRI) to farmers.
The deadline was earlier extended to 31 May.
Govt provides concessional Standard Short-Term Agri-loans to farmers through banks with 2 percent p.a, interest subvention to banks and 3 percent additional benefit on timely repayment to farmers thus providing loans upto Rs 3 lakh at 4 percent p.a. interest on timely repayment.
"In the wake of lockdown due to ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, there have been restrictions imposed on movement of people. Many farmers are not able to travel to bank branches for payment of their short term crop loan dues. Moreover, due to restrictions on movement of people, difficulty in timely sale, receipt of payment of their produce and the necessity of adhering to social distancing norms, farmers are finding it difficult to arrange the amount to be deposited for renewal and are unable to visit the banks to deposit and draw fresh loans," the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said in a statement.