Rajnagar: Aul MLA Dhruba Sahu launched the ‘Balaram Yojana’ in Rajnagar area of Kendrapara district Wednesday. In the first phase, 1,435 famers will be provided farm loans in Rajnagar block.
The MLA said the scheme is aimed at providing crop loans to small, marginal and landless farmers so that they would not go to private money lenders for their farming activities.
Under the new scheme, the landless cultivators will get loans through joint liability groups (JLGs). If the JLGs pay off loans in time, they will not have to pay interests and be provided with more loans.
He also distributed loans to beneficiaries at a meeting in the meeting hall of the block office.
“KALIA and Balia Yojanas are contributions of the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government to boost the farm sector and empower the farmers. The central government has followed this scheme. This scheme is being hailed as a good one across the country,” he asserted.
Under the ‘Balaram’ scheme, the government has set a target to provide farm loans to 7 lakh landless farmers in next two years. It has set aside Rs 1,040 crore for the purpose.
In the first phase, over Rs 3. 69 core has been sanctioned as farm loans in Rajnagar area while 1,435 cultivators of 187 JLGs under 14 primary agriculture cooperative societies were included in the scheme. Loans were released to 33 JLGs Wednesday.
Notably, IMAGE and Agricultural Technology Management Agencies (ATMA) are coordinating the implementation of the yojana at the state and the district levels. In rural and small towns, around 7,000 branches of banks and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies coordinate the implementation.
As per the scheme, each JLG will get a maximum of Rs 1.60 lakh loan. Members of the Odisha Krushak Sathi and agriculture employees help constitute the groups and direct them to banks. The interest rate and subsidy on the loan amount is decided as per the guidelines of the state farm loan rules, it was said.