To reduce the burden of paying interest on agricultural loans, the Maharashtra government announced zero-interest crop loans on Monday. The interest-free loan will be available until 3 lakh. The government led by Uddhav Thackeray will pay interest on crop loans on behalf of farmers. The aim is to free the farmers from the burden of the interests and prevent them from becoming defaulted, the government of Maharashtra said in a statement.

On Monday, Finance Minister Ajit Pawar presented the budget.

To prevent farmer suicides, the government implemented the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Farmer loan exemption program in a simplified manner.

“Under the scheme, an amount of 19,929 crore was credited to the accounts of 31 lakh 23,000 farmers. It has also enabled farmers to obtain new loans, ”said the Minister of Finance.

“During the year 2019-2020, agricultural 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 added.

The state government also announced a program worth 2000 crore for strengthening the Agricultural Commodity Market Committee (APMC).

Those who have not yet been connected to electricity for agricultural pumps, the government has decided to implement a policy to provide them with a connection. They will get electricity through a conventional or solar power connection. To implement this scheme, MSEDCL will be allocated a capital 1,500 crores every year.

Farmers with pending electricity bills will receive a 33% rebate from the government. “If farmers pay 50% of the remaining arrears by March 2022, an additional 50% of the remaining amount will be canceled,” the finance minister said.

For small marginal producers of fruits and vegetables, the government announced the “Maharashtra Agro Business Network Project (Magnet)”. “The cost of the project is 1000 crores. The project will be implemented for 6 years with the aim of increasing farmers’ income, ”said the Minister.

“The MahaDBT portal was activated in December 2020 to provide the benefits of various government implemented agricultural programs to farmers through a single app,” he added.

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

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