Jaipur: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said that it is duty of the state government to serve the farmers. If the government protected the interests of farmers, it would be an obligation, but would be the prime responsibility, he said. The CM further added that the state government would let no stone unturned in taking steps towards welfare of the farmers.
Shri Gehlot was talking to the farmers in different parts of the state through video conferencing on Thursday, on the occasion of inauguration of Cooperatives’ ATM and launch of online crop loan distribution by the Cooperative institutions at Birla Auditorium in Jaipur.
The CM talked to the farmers Shri Hanuman Singh of Jodhpur, Shri Rooplal Gurjar of Udaipur, Shri Tulsiram of Kota, Shri Gangaram of Chittaurgarh, Shri Kanaram of Barmer and Shri Ramhans of Tonk in regard to the crop loan waiver scheme. The farmers said that it was for the first time that high value crop loans were waived off and they got the new loans simultaneously. They thanked the CM for this, who responded saying that it was the state government’s job and it would continue doing so in future as well.
CM Gehlot said that with sanction of fresh loans for the farmers, this year the state government targeted to distribute crop loans worth Rs. 16,000 crore. There would be no shortage of fertilizers and seeds for the Rabi and Kharif crops and the government would ensure that the farmers remain at ease. He added that during the previous tenure his government started interest-free crop loans. Now, we would ensure loan waiver and distribution exercises were done in smooth and transparent manner and maximum number of farmers were benefitted, he said.
The Chief Minister said that the state government had announced to open nandishalas in every panchayat samiti area to resolve the farmers’ difficulties in dealing with stray animals. He said that the government established Krishak Kalyan Kosh worth Rs. 1000 crore to ensure ‘ease of doing farming’. Also, arrangements had been made in advance for storage of one lakh MT of DAP and 2 lakh MT of urea, he added.
CM Gehlot suggested the farmers to go beyond tilling the land and asked them to establish their own agriculture-based enterprises so that they were not forced to sell their crops on lower rates. He said that his government would support the farmers for setting up food processing units. For this, they would not require the land-use change certificates of their agricultural lands.
CM Gehlot said that with the historical step of online process, distribution of crop loans would become simpler and more transparent. Now, the farmers would be able to withdraw cash from their loan accounts using ATM cards or POS machines. The Aadhaar-based crop loan distribution would remove various discrepancies and ensure timely benefit to the farmers, he added.
The Cooperatives Minister Shri Udaylal Anjana said that Rajasthan had become the first state in the country to distribute crop loans through online system. He said that about 20 lakh farmers had registered themselves for the crop loan waiver scheme on the basis of their Aadhaar numbers. Now, 10 lakh new farmers would be added with the loan distribution process. Registration of new farmers on the Cooperatives Loan Portal started today, he added.
Minister of State for Cooperatives Shri Tikaram Juli said that during his previous tenure CM Shri Gehlot started interest-free crop loan scheme for farmers and did not increase power tariff for the agriculture connections for entire five years. Shri Juli also advised the farmers to be alert while using their ATM cards and not get prey to the online frauds or cyber crimes.
Principal Secretary Cooperatives Shri Abhay Kumar gave a detailed description of the steps undertaken by the government for the farmers’ welfare.
During the event, CM Shri Gehlot flagged off a Cooperatives Mobile ATM Van and inaugurated another ATM machine. He also had dialogue with five young entrepreneurs associated with Agri Startup businesses and appreciated their efforts.
Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Bhajanlal Jatav, Chief Secretary Shri DB Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary Finance Shri Niranjan Arya, NABARD CGM Shri Suresh Chandra, Registrar Cooperatives Shri Neeraj K Pawan and farmers from across Rajasthan were present on this occasion.