To reduce the burden of paying interests on farm loans, Maharashtra government on Monday announced zero percent interest crop loans. The interest free loan will be available for up to 3 lakh. Uddhav Thackeray-led government will interest on crop loan on behalf of farmers. The aim is to free the farmers from interest burden and prevent them from turning defaulter, Maharashtra government said in a statement.

The state finance minister Ajit Pawar on Monday presented the Budget.

To prevent the suicides of the farmers, the government had implemented Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Farmer loan waiver scheme in a simplified manner.

“Under the scheme an amount of 19,929 crore has been credited to the accounts of 31 lakh 23 thousand farmers . It also paved the way for farmers to get new loans,” finance minister said.

“In the year 2019-20, crop loans amounting to 28,604 crore were disbursed, after debt relief, crop loans amounting to 42,433 crore were disbursed in the year 2020-21,” he further added.

The state government also announced a scheme worth 2,000 crore for strengthening of Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC).

Those who have not yet been provided electricity connection for agriculture pumps, the government decided to implement policy to provide connection to them. They will get electricity either through conventional or solar power connection. To implement this scheme, MSEDCL will be given a share capitalof 1,500 crore every year.

Farmers with pending electricity bill will get 33% rebate from the government. “If the farmers pay 50% of the remaining arrears by March 2022, additional 50% of the remaining amount will be waived off,” finance minister said.

For small and marginal fruit and vegetable growers, the government announced the “Maharashtra Agro Business Network Project (Magnet)”. “The cost of the project is 1000 crore. The project will be implemented for 6 years with an aim to raise the income of the farmers,” the minister said.

“The MahaDBT Portal has been activated in December 2020 to provide the benefits of various agricultural schemes being implemented by the government to the farmers through a single application,” he added

Over 11 lakh farmers have been registered on this portal so far and more than 25 lakh applications have been received for the benefit of various agricultural schemes.

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