Other States

Centre’s package for agri sector not enough, says Pawar

Uncertain: Farmers harvest the wheat crop on a field in Karve village on the outskirts of Karad.

Uncertain: Farmers harvest the wheat crop on a field in Karve village on the outskirts of Karad.   | Photo Credit: Raju Sanadi

NCP chief asks people to maintain discipline, follow govt. guidelines to prevent coronavirus spread

Terming the coronavirus outbreak as a grave crisis, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Friday urged people to follow the government’s directives to contain its spread. During a live interaction with citizens on Facebook, Mr. Pawar also said the package announced by the Central government for agriculture was not enough.

The former Union minister welcomed the Central government’s economic package and the Reserve Bank of India’s decisions to tide over the crisis.

However, he said, “The package for the agriculture sector is not enough. It is impossible to repay the crop loan. Some steps should be taken for the horticulture sector as well.”

By evening, Mr. Pawar had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting measures for the agriculture sector. In his letter, he said, “The existing agricultural loans may be restructured and interest subvention, at least 5% per annum, may be offered to banks and other institutions on agri loans.”

The credit requirement, he said, will grow and the government needs to infuse more funds to meet the requirement.

Also, the farm credit target through the National Bank For Agriculture & Rural Development for the current fiscal needs to be increased. “Credit for crop loans should be made available at minimal interest rate.”

He also sought restructuring of existing loans by conversion of short-term loans to term loans, rescheduling the repayment period, alteration of instalment amounts and reduction in interest rates.

While taking questions during his chat, which was arranged by his daughter and Baramati Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule, Mr. Pawar appealed to people to maintain discipline and also asked the police to exercise restraint and allow movement of vehicles transporting essential services and goods.

“While it is difficult to set up a new hospital for coronavirus patients right now, there are a large number of medical colleges, both private and government, in all the districts in the State. These colleges can be used for treatment as well,” he said, in response to one of the questions.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 3:59:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/centres-package-for-agri-sector-not-enough-says-pawar/article31188196.ece

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