Gargi Parsai

It will enable interventions in raising irrigation potential, seed replacement

  • Interest waiver would be borne in a 50:50 ratio between the Centre and States concerned
  • Separate package for two additional districts in Kerala
  • Central programmes in water sector and rural development would also form part of the package

    NEW DELHI: A Rs. 16,978-crore rehabilitation package for farmers proposed by the Union Agriculture Ministry for the predominant suicide-prone 31 districts in four States is expected to come up for approval in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs here on Friday.

    The package proposes an interest waiver of Rs. 2,717 crore for the four States, which would be borne in a 50:50 ratio between the Centre and the States concerned.

    The package includes Rs. 3,874 crore for farmers in six districts of Maharashtra, which was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Vidarbha in July. The other States included in the package are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, which have reported high rate of suicides by farmers in distress. The Ministry has worked out a package of Rs. 9,650 crore for Andhra Pradesh including an interest waiver of Rs. 1,436 crore; Rs. 765 crore for Kerala including Rs. 360 crore interest waiver and Rs. 2,689 crore for Karnataka including Rs. 209 crore interest waiver, highly placed sources said.

    While interest waiver and rescheduling of loans is at the centre of the package, it comprises several interventions to enhance production and productivity in the affected districts. These include 16 districts in Andhra Pradesh, six in Karnataka and three in Kerala.

    The Ministry proposal is to take `in principle' approval from the CCEA to prepare a separate package for two additional districts in Kerala including Allapuzha and Iddukki where the focus would be on rejuvenation of new plantations and cash crops, watershed development, etc.

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