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Ahead of 2019 polls, government has not decided on farm package

Updated : January 07, 2019 02:46 PM IST

As country is moving towards general elections in 2019, the Narendra Modi government has not yet decided on farmers package, sources privy to the developments told CNBC-TV18.

Sources said consultations are going on in the Prime Minster’s Office (PMO), Niti Aayog, agricultural and finance ministry over the the pros and cons of various measures.

At least four-five measures are being discussed by the government including Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) worth Rs 4,000 per acre per season plus interest-free crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh per farmer.

Government is likely to announce changes in the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loan scheme. Currently, the scheme covers about 50-55 percent farmers. It's also exploring the possibility of doubling collateral free loans under KCC to Rs 2 lakh and may allow livestock farmers to get benefits of it. As of now, only agri-farmers are eligible for loans under KCC. The government is also considering converting the KCC cards to Rupay and debit cards as well.

The ruling BJP was defeated in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the recent state polls, where rural distress was a key factor. Soon after assuming power in the three states, the Congress governments there announced farm loan waivers as part of the fulfilment of its campaign promises. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had also declared his party would force Modi to waive off farm loans nationwide.
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