RBI relaxes Kisan Credit repayment norms to help farmers fight drought

While modifying the KCC guidelines, RBI has removed the clause pertaining to mandatory repayment of loans by card holders within a year and gave freedom to banks to fix the repayment period

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has relaxed the repayment norms for Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) to help farmers tide over the difficult financial situation due to deficient monsoon, reports PTI.
While modifying the KCC guidelines, RBI has removed the clause pertaining to mandatory repayment of loans by card holders within a year and gave freedom to banks to fix the repayment period. The decision will benefit over 10 crore KCC holders.
"The repayment period may be fixed by banks as per the anticipated harvesting and marketing period for the crops for which a loan has been granted," the RBI notification said.
RBI's notification on KCC norms was issued a day after Finance Minister P Chidambaram expressed concern over the deficient monsoon and its impact on rural areas.
The notification further said that KCC could be also be used for making mandatory crop insurance, a facility which was not available earlier.
The KCC card holders, it added, will continue to have the option to withdraw money from ATMs and get benefits of Asset Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance Scheme and Health Insurance.
Chidambaram yesterday had said, "The South-West monsoon has been below expectation. Drought-like conditions have been reported from several states.
"It is the duty of the government to provide relief to the people living in drought affected districts, protect wage employment and save agticultural production to the extend possible".
He had also said that contingency plans were being put in place to help farmers replant alternate crops as well as supply drinking water and fodder.
Meanwhile, RBI Deputy Governor KC Chakrabarty told reporters in New Delhi that Indian lenders are resilient enough to weather the pressure on farm loans caused by drought like situation because of deficient monsoon.
"Whenever there is drought, there is a pressure (on farm loans). But we have sufficient rehabilitation measures so that banks can weather it out," he said.
Monsoon is the life-line of the agriculture sector as only 40% of the cultivable area is irrigated. Rain has been 20% lower during June-July, affecting kharif (summer) crops mainly coarse cereals and pulses.
Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are facing drought-like situation.
Last week, Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on drought had approved diesel subsidy of 50 per cent to farmers for saving standing crops, and a Rs2,000 crore package for states affected by drought-like situation.
The government had launched KCC Scheme in 1998-99 with a view to providing adequate and timely support from the banking system to the farmers for their cultivation needs including purchase of inputs in a flexible and cost effective manner.



Arun Kumar

4 years ago

same trubble facing himachal farmer

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US presidential polls: November surprise

This year employment is the main issue in the American elections and everything can crystallize for voters on 2nd November if the election is close. Both candidates have begun spinning the economic numbers to gain an advantage over the other

On 2 November, 96 hours before the US electorate go to the polls to elect the president the Labour department will put out the unemployment figures for the month of October. For the month of July there were an addition of 1,65,00 jobs but the unemployment figure ticked up to 8.3% whereas in June the economy added only 65,000 new non-farms jobs.

This is the year in which employment is the main issue in the American elections and everything can crystallize for voters on 2nd November if the election is close. The October job numbers can make all the difference with undecided voters who will switch depending on what the actual figure is. If the unemployment rate remains either at 8.2% or 8.3% it will not look good for President Obama and will  remind voters of the perilous state of the economy and the fragility of the recovery four  years after the great recession. However, a figure of below 8% could lead to a surge in favour of President Obama. The unemployment rate depends not only on the number of people actually hired in the previous month but the number of people who were looking for a job in the previous month and expecting new policies or expecting new direction after the elections may make people more hopeful to conceivably look for a job and that could end up hurting President Obama as the unemployment rate may look worse than it actually is.

Further, expect large barrage of last minute advertisements based on the unemployment rate near the 2nd of November on behalf of Governor Romney and President Obama in swing states which could break open a close election in favour of one side or the other. It will also have an impact in energizing workers on the ground and have an impact on the turnover on Election Day as either the Democrats or the Republicans are galvanised on Election Day. The numbers are swinging widely from month to month that there is no way to really prepare for the figure which is to come out on 2nd November.

The November surprise will follow on what is traditionally known as the October surprise which is an announcement in October by the president on a foreign policy issue that swings the voters in his favour on a rise of patriotism and populism. This tradition started with President Richard Nixon’s re-election bid in 1972 when he was running against the Democrat George McGovern and announced on imminent end of the Vietnam War. President Nixon ended up by winning in 49 states out of 50. He probably would have won the election anyway but the announcement led to a landslide in his favour.

Similarly in 1980 when Jimmy Carter was running for re-election Ronald Reagan expected him to announce a settlement of the Iran hostage crisis. But instead Jimmy Carter announced that the settlement of the hostage crisis would if at take place after the election. He gave up the chance of an October surprise.

So what could the October surprise be this time? The most common speculation is that President Obama may decide to bomb Iran and sweep into office on a tide of patriotism. That would silence the Neocorns. But I think the risk of bombing Iran is too great, particularly the spike it would have in oil prices and the chances of destabilising the world economy. But it is a fact that come October presidents do get tempted to pull a rabbit out of the bag.

The November 2nd announcement of the economic numbers has another consequence. The New York Times reported last week that President Obama has already spent $400 million on his re-election and could be pretty low on cash come November. There is speculation whether he will have enough money left to counter what is expected to be a blistering final round of campaign advertisements for the Republicans and the Republican SuperPACs in the last 96 hours after the employment numbers are released.

But the spinning has already begun. Both the campaigners have begun spinning the economic numbers to gain an advantage over the other.

President Obama posted on Facebook as follows: “Good News. As of July the economy has added private sector jobs for 29 straight months—for a total of 4.5 million jobs during that period. But we’ve got more work to do—stand with President Obama to keep up the progress.”

 So in a surprising election expect more surprises.

(Harsh Desai has done his BA in Political Science from St Xavier's College & Elphinstone College, Bombay and has done his Master's in Law from Columbia University in the city of New York. He is a practicing advocate at the Bombay High Court.)



Pallav Shishodia

4 years ago

For most of Indians who are innocent as well as not-so-concerned about dynamics of American politics,your articles on US Presidential elections are brilliant.
You may think to write about President Pranab and VP Ansari as nobody has written seriously about them.You can really cure them of Attention Deficiency.

In case you want to write something less serious then you may think of PM.The only risk is that you may be read less.Besides,you would need lot of creativity to think of fresh areas of under-achievemnt to comment as most commentators have failed to say anything new which the world does not know.

For fun writting Anna and disbanded team would be grateful whatever you say to keep them afloat in pubilc memory.For a clue,just guess who they would appoint as AG when they come to power in 2014!

A good write up may bring you medal-an iron one slightly junked as bronze and above are exhausted.We need some medals badly to catch u p with Phelph!!

Pallav Shishodia

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