Budget 2017: Agri credit raised to record Rs 10 lakh cr in FY18
'The target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record level of Rs 10 lakh crore,' Jaitley said in his Budget speech.
New Delhi: In a major thrust to agriculture, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced a whopping Rs 1 lakh crore hike in the credit target for the next fiscal to Rs 10 lakh crore as part of the government's efforts to double farm incomes in the next five years.
"The target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record level of Rs 10 lakh crore," Jaitley said in his Budget speech.
The government will take special efforts to ensure adequate credit flow to underserved areas -- the eastern states and J&K, he added.
The government provides short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh at subsidised interest rate of 7 percent per annum. An additional incentive of 3 percent is provided to farmers for prompt repayment of loans within due date, making an effective interest rate for them at 4 percent.
The Finance Minister noted that the agriculture sector is expected to grow at 4.1 percent during the current fiscal on good monsoon. Sowing of both kharif and rabi crops has been higher.
Jaitley said the allocation for new crop insurance scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana', which was launched last year, has been increased to Rs 13,240 crore this fiscal from budgeted Rs 5,500 crore. The allocation for the next fiscal has been earmarked at Rs 9,000 crore.
"The coverage of this scheme will be increased from 30 percent of the cropped area in 2016-17 to 40 percent in 2017-18 to 50 percent in 2018-19," he said.
The finance minister said that dedicated micro-irrigation fund will be created with a corpus of Rs 5000 crore.
Stating that dairy is an important source of additional income for farmers, he said the government will set up a dairy processing fund of Rs 8,000 crore over three years with initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore.
Jaitley also said the government will prepare a model law on contract farming which will be circulated to state governments.
The agency said over 1.5 million people are entering the job market every month and the rapid adoption of automation which reduces the dependency on labour is only aggravating the situation.
Concerns have been raised whether a company having breached turnover threshold of Rs 50 crore in 2016-17 or 2017-18 would be entitled to concessional tax rate of 25 percent.
The steps taken in the Budget will be instrumental in providing a much-needed fillip to the MSMSE sector