Budget 2020: Government Sets Agriculture Credit Target For FY21 At Rs 15 Lakh Crore
A woman holds the loan she has received, a stack of rupee bills, during a meeting organised by a microfinance organisation. (Photographer: Adeel Halim/Bloomberg)

Budget 2020: Government Sets Agriculture Credit Target For FY21 At Rs 15 Lakh Crore

India set a target of making available agricultural credit of up to Rs 15 lakh crore in financial year 2020-21.

“Non-banking finance companies and cooperatives are active in the agriculture credit space. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development refinance scheme will be expanded,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman said in her Union Budget speech. “Agriculture credit availability target for the year 2020-21 has been set at Rs 15 lakh crore.”

All eligible beneficiaries of the PM-Kisan scheme—that provides small and marginal farmers a minimum income support of up to Rs 6,000 crore—will also be eligible for the Kisan Credit Card scheme.

As per the agriculture census of 2015-16, there are 66.2 million operative Kisan Credit Cards against 145 million land holdings. That implies that even after close to 20 years of the scheme, only 45 percent of farmers possess the cards.

Last year, an internal working group of the Reserve Bank of India had suggested revising the priority sector lending for deploying credit to small and marginal farmers. The group’s report had noted that there are over 12.56 crore crore small and marginal farmers but only around 5.14 crore have accounts as per the priority sector lending returns of scheduled commercial banks for 2015-16. That’s just 41 percent of small farmers being covered by public and private lenders.

The Finance Minister also announced a 16-step action plan to double farmers’ income, which included improving warehousing financing, double milk processing capacity and raise fish production. Sitharaman has set aside a total of Rs 2.83 lakh crore for the agriculture and allied sectors.

Also read: Budget 2020: Government Committed To Doubling Farm Income By 2022

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