Kolkata: The West Bengal authorities has embarked upon a large enlargement of protection beneath the Kisan Credit score Card (KCC) scheme of the Reserve Bank of India and the Nationwide Bank for Agriculture and Rural Improvement as Kharif sowing exercise is ready to assemble tempo and the beginning of the Monsoon within the state has been passable, in accordance with the Mausam Bhavan’s evaluation.
Apparently, two factors emerged as NewsClick sought response to this initiative of ‘Nabanna’ – the state secretariat – from knowledgeable quarters, a few of whom cope with farmers’ points within the rural areas. First, the state Agriculture Division’s transfer following the “inspiration” from chief minister Mamata Banerjee has begun at a time when New Delhi’s marketing campaign for saturation of all Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) beneficiaries with Kisan Credit score Playing cards is being vigorously adopted by all concerned businesses. PM-Kisan accomplished its first 12 months on February 24 this 12 months.
However, West Bengal is an exception as a result of Banerjee had determined quickly after the PM-Kisan was introduced on February 1, 2019, to not take part within the scheme. West Bengal is the one state that continues to stay out of the purview of PM-Kisan. Thus, whereas the Centre is making an attempt onerous to see that each one PM-Kisan beneficiaries routinely develop into KCC holders on completion of formalities, West Bengal is sticking to KCC protection enlargement on a stand-alone foundation.
The second level that emerged is that farmers’ organisations, that are often arms of political events, should not inclined to view the ‘Nabanna’ initiative within the context of the following Meeting elections due in 10 months; though recalling their previous expertise, they prescribe some “dos and don’ts”.
Within the state, there are at the moment 15 lakh KCC holders and the federal government needs to take it to 35 lakh, that’s, a rise of 20 lakh. The variety of farmers within the state is estimated at 70 lakh plus. So, at 35 lakh, the protection will probably be 50%. However greater than the massive farmers, the marginal, small and medium degree farmers have been badly hit by Covid-19 and within the midst of the pandemic, by Amphan. Due to this fact, within the evaluation of educated quarters, the federal government will attempt to cowl as many as doable beneath this class and it may hold the estimated 15 lakh large farmers out of protection, for the second. Due to this fact, out of 55 lakh plus farmers, if the goal of a further 20 lakh is achieved and there are 35 lakh KCC holders, complete protection strikes as much as near 65%.
An on-the-spot evaluation of the harm wrought by Amphan has been made by Agricultural Advisor to chief minister Pradip Mazumdar who, in written replies to factors raised by NewsClick, had this to say: “The scale of finance/acre depends on crop and location. The loan amount/kisan depends on area x @ of scale of finance for the crop cultivated. This is a scheme guided by RBI; hence all commercial banks present in rural areas, grameen banks and cooperative banks are involved.”
Relating to eligibility, a former chief supervisor of erstwhile Dena Bank, Dr N N Goswami, who handled agriculture credit score for a very long time, stated the scheme is liberal and all farmers who possess some land for cultivation are eligible. He additionally stated that they embody all farmers, proprietor cultivators, farmers who should not proprietor cultivator however do cultivation as tenant farmers, “oral lessees” and share-croppers and self-help teams or joint legal responsibility teams of farmers together with tenant farmers, share-croppers, “oral lessees”, and so forth.
Farmers couldn’t entry institutional finance in instances of want for a number of causes and the scenario compelled them to rely upon “non-institutional, quite costly funds” when their want was acute. The KCC scheme was launched and refined a number of instances to take away farmers’ hardships, entitle them to low cost, well timed funds from banking techniques. Agriculturists should purchase objects associated to their farming wants utilizing their KCC and can even withdraw the required quantity for associated bills, the previous bank govt defined.
The speed of curiosity is 9%. There’s an curiosity subvention of two%. Due to this fact, for the farmer, it’s 7%. There’s a immediate compensation incentive of three% for short-term crop loans of as much as Rs three lakh. Due to this fact, those that qualify for PRI should bear an curiosity of 4% solely.
In response to knowledgeable quarters, whereas there isn’t a doubt that KCC has made issues higher for farmers usually, however “the less fortunate ones” amongst them nonetheless should depend on cash lenders and bear with the exorbitant charges of curiosity. Failure to repay invariably exposes the debtors to the danger of getting to pay in variety and half with a large amount of their produce.
The West Bengal initiative, when via, will definitely assist improve liquidity within the agricultural financial system. The timing of launching the initiative can be important. The Union Agriculture Ministry’s round of February 6 to, amongst others, all state governments talked about the next factors:
All costs for processing, documentation, inspection, ledger folio and repair for KCC loans as much as Rs three lakh waived by Indian Banks Affiliation;
Banks have been instructed to difficulty KCC inside 14 days of receipt of accomplished utility type from farmers…
On the date of difficulty of the round, greater than 9.7 crore farmer households had been registered on the PM-Kisan portal and the advantage of revenue help had been transferred to almost 8.Four crore farmers. There are at current 6.67 crore lively KCC within the nation. Even whether it is presumed that each one the lively KCC holders are PM-Kisan beneficiaries, there are almost three crore beneficiaries who would not have KCC. Therefore the necessity for “mission mode” motion.
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Why has CM Mamata Banerjee chosen to shun, thus far, PM-Kisan? She has put in place a ‘Krishak Bandhu’ scheme beneath which a yearly grant of Rs 5,000 per acre to farmers is admissible in two instalments for each rabi and kharif crops. In case of shared cropping, the quantity is split proportionally among the many share-croppers. Additionally, the scheme ensures a one-time grant of Rs two lakh for the household of a farmer between the age of 18 and 60 who dies resulting from “any natural or unnatural cause”.
Underneath PM-Kisan, an eligible farmer is entitled to rise up to Rs 6,000 per 12 months in three equal instalments. The unspoken rivalry of the West Bengal authorities is that CM has devised a extra beneficiant package deal to assist farmers. The truth that by not becoming a member of the scheme the state is shedding Rs 4,200 crore (Rs 6,000 x 70 lakh farmers) of Central funds is an unacknowledged reality.
The Centre continues to sulk over West Bengal’s non-participation. Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s request letters to CM didn’t elicit any response. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whereas talking on the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Kolkata Port Belief within the metropolis, on January 12 referred to West Bengal’s non-participation (the second occasion is Ayushman Bharat) and stated he needs policy-makers in West Bengal to be blessed with “good wisdom”.
Apparently, though the state retains off PM-Kisan, a number of lakh farmers had registered themselves since September 2019 through the self-registration portal, indicating their willingness to be a part of PM-Kisan. However, the Centre is helpless as a result of the candidates’ knowledge should be vetted by the state administration.
In the meantime, farmers’ organisations are of the view that KCC is an efficient scheme and they don’t seem to be inclined to view the state authorities’s transfer as one being made with a watch on the following Meeting elections. However, there are sensible points. “We have to see whether marginal farmers will benefit. In the Sundarbans area, 90% are those having 10 bighas of land. They have to work for a maximum of three months. Will these people benefit?” requested Sanjukta Kisan Sabha Chief Subhas Naskar, who was minister for irrigation and waterways within the Left Entrance authorities.
Naskar, a senior member of Revolutionary Socialist Social gathering’s state committee, identified that the Left Entrance has by no means impeded the implementation of this authorities’s good schemes. “But, we cannot forget TMC had opposed the Rs 5,032 crore embankment construction scheme the Centre had okayed after Ayla had caused extensive damage in the Sundarbans in 2009”.
Common secretary of West Bengal Pradeshik Krishak Sabha (B B Ganguly Street) Ajit Mukherjee stated funds obtainable beneath the KCC scheme fall wanting farmers’ precise necessities. The assumptions made for figuring out entitlement must be given a re-look. Additionally, it’s a tricky job for share-croppers to get their standing vetted by the Agriculture Division, identified Mukherjee, whose outfit is an arm of the Communist Social gathering of India.
Chairman of Paschim Banga Krishak Congress Tapan Das stated the unique farmer typically is disadvantaged of the concessional finance beneath the KCC scheme. Additionally, too many issues come up as up to date paperwork, displaying names of successors, can’t be furnished by applicant-farmers, added Das whose organisation is an arm of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee.
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