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SBI to Provide Farm Loans for Rs.1,600 Crore

The State Bank of India (SBI) will provide Rs.1,600 crore as agriculture loan to farmers in Kerala. At a meeting between top SBI officials and Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, this was among the decisions taken.

The SBI would write off those agriculture loans which became non-performing assets (NPAs) in 2016, provided the farmer paid 50% of the outstanding amount, said Mr. Sunil Kumar, while briefing presspersons after the meeting.

This targeted one-time settlement would benefit 36,000 farmers in the State. The SBI would give loans to the very same farmers, thirty days after the settlement. The settlement is expected to cost the SBI Rs.275 to Rs.300 crore.

To interact directly with the bank, it was also decided that the SBI would open a web portal for farmers. This is to address complaints that the SBI was not disbursing adequate agriculture loans. The SBI team was led by Chief General Manager S. Adikesavan.

It was decided that the SBI would broadbase the issue of Kisan Credit Cards. It was also decided that loans up to ₹3 lakh would be given for vegetable farming at an interest rate of 4%.

He also said that, to air farmer's grievances and to seek expert help on farming-related issues, the Department of Agriculture would open a call centre for farmers.

On November 1, the call centre would be inaugurated. The Agriculture Minister would be available for direct talks with farmers on every first Wednesday from 5.30 p.m. To give assistance to farmers, a team of experts from the KAU would also be available.


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