Bhubaneswar:24/4/23: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced a farm load rebate worth Rs 441.76 crore benefitting 35 lakh farmers in the state. The Chief Minister announced the second phase of the interest discount for the year 2022-23 at a programme organised at the Convention Center of the Lok Seva Bhawan today.
All the cooperative banks and 2,409 primary agricultural cooperative societies of the state benefited from the discount on farm loan interest. In the first phase, an interest deduction of Rs 415.17 crore was given. In all, farmers in the state received a total interest discount of Rs 856.99 crore. It is worth noting that farmers will not have to pay any interest for crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh. Out of 35 lakh farmers, 30 lakh are small and marginal farmers.
Addressing the farmers present on the occasion and the farmers connected through video conferencing, the Chief Minister said that agriculture is the soul of Odisha’s economy as well as the basis of development. “The charioteers of our new Odisha, strong Odisha are our farmers, mothers, and young women. So I have always emphasised your empowerment,” he said.
The Chief Minister also said that a special budget has been made to empower the farmers. Interest-free agricultural loans up to Rs 1 lakh, Kalia education scholarship is being provided for the welfare of the families engaged in farming.
Kiran Sahu, a farmer’s son in Ganjam, received a scholarship to study at Berhampur Medical College, the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister said that Odisha is the first state to provide interest-free loans to farmers and implement welfare schemes like Kalia. He expressed his happiness saying that due to today’s interest reduction, farmers will not have to pay a single rupee of interest.
Stating that the cooperative movement has become stronger today, the Chief Minister said, “Sixty percent of the crop credit is provided by the cooperative sector alone.”
Stating that the farmers are our pride, the Chief Minister said, “Due to their hard work and determination, Odisha has become a leading state in the country in the field of agriculture. I am working and will continue to work for the welfare of farmers.”
Attending the programme, Union Minister Atanu Sabyasachi said that the state government under the leadership of the Chief Minister is working with commitment for the uplift of the farmers in the state. “Being nominated for the Agriculturist Award several times is a testament to our commitment.” He said that today Odisha has turned from a deficit state to a surplus state due to the joint programmes of the Cooperative Department, Agriculture Department, and Food Supply Department.
In the programme, three beneficiaries – Reena Sethi, Nikunj Bihari Kaap, and Savita Samantharay – explained how they are able to sustain their families through farming and business due to interest concession on major loans. Expressing gratitude to the Chief Minister for this, they said that many families have become self-reliant today due to the interest rebate scheme.
Principal Secretary of Cooperation Department, Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, delivered the welcome address, and Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Uddhaba Chandra Majhi, proposed the vote of thanks. Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena and Development Commissioner Cum Additional Chief Secretary Smt Anu Garg, among other dignitaries were present at the programme.