Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned a fresh amount of Rs.54.29 crore as `refinance assistance' to Kerala State Cooperative Bank (KSCB).

In a press release here on Wednesday, NABARD said this `refinance' was against an initial credit limit of Rs.342.65 crore it had fixed for the KSCB to provide short-term loans for seasonal agricultural operations in the State. The KSCB will get the amount for an interest of 2.5 per cent on the condition that it will pass it on to the farmers at an interest of not more than seven per cent in the case of loans reaching up to the level of Rs.3 lakh.

All crop loans issued by the bank after April 1, 2006, are covered by these terms.

The outstanding loans of the KSCB with NABARD are of the order of Rs.498.27 crore at the moment, the press release added.