Farmers have received loan assistance to the tune of over Rs.2,203 crore so far, according to Cooperation Minister ‘Sellur’ K. Raju.

The loans have been disbursed through primary agricultural cooperative societies chasing a target of Rs 4,500 crore for the fiscal year 2013-14, the minister said. Farmers in the district alone had received Rs.49.53 crore out of the target of Rs. 90 crore for this year.

The loans were disbursed through 182 primary agricultural cooperative societies, with interest waiver for prompt repayment.

The minister was addressing an event organised by the 102-year-old Madurai District Central Cooperative (MDCC) Bank here on Sunday to grant bonus and other incentives worth Rs.15.49 lakh to its employees, as well as loans worth Rs.3.64 crore to the bank’s customers.

A press release quoted the minister as saying that the State government had forfeited interest worth Rs. 5.36 crore for crop loans that were repaid promptly by 23,274 farmers since the financial year 2011-12. Further, compensation worth Rs. 23.28 crore had been given to farmers who suffered crop damage.

While crop loans worth Rs. 65.67 crore were disbursed to farmers in the district in the financial year 2011-12, the figure stood at Rs. 81.50 crore in 2012-13. Further, 3,888 Dalit members of the cooperative societies were given crop loans worth Rs.21.39 core in the last three years, the release said. The short-term crop loan of Rs.9.84 crore given to 2,058 farmers in the district was converted to mid-term loans, paving the way for the grant of fresh loans worth Rs.1.25 crore to 314 farmers.

In terms of crop insurance, 997 banana and sugarcane farmers received Rs. 110 crore. The minister lauded the MDCC bank for growing rapidly since its inception on July 9, 1912 with a modest share capital of Rs.13,340 and fixed deposits worth Rs.1.47 lakh.

Today, the bank boasts a current share capital of Rs.35 core, with fixed deposits worth Rs.741 crore.

The bank has 32 branches in Madurai district and 10 in Theni district. It has been functioning as a funding agency for primary agricultural cooperative banks in the two districts after obtaining licence from the Reserve Bank of India in 2011.

Collector L. Subramanian; S.T.K. Jaggaiyan, special representative for the Government of Tamil Nadu in New Delhi; Members of the Legislative Assembly A.K. Bose, K. Tamilarasan and R. Annadurai and MDCC bank president K. Duraipandian and Managing Director M. Dhanalakshmi participated.

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