Move likely to benefit over 25 lakh farmers. At present, Gujarat has a 7% interest on farm loans, of which 3% interest relief is given by Centre, 3% by the state. Thus, the effective interest rate to be paid by farmers is 1%.
In a major step to woo the rural vote-bank weeks before the assembly elections, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, on Monday, announced loans up to Rs 3 lakh to farmers at zero per cent interest, a move likely to benefit over 25 lakh farmers.
Addressing BJP workers at ‘Gujarat Gaurav Sammelan’, the culmination of 15-day-long ‘Gujarat Gaurav Yatra’ at Bhat, Rupani said, “The decision will benefit over 25 lakh farmers of Gujarat, the state will give loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at zero per cent interest.”
He added, “The 7% interest on loan will be paid by state and Central governments.” Rupani also said its execution will put an additional burden of Rs 700 crore on the state exchequer per annum. Later, BJP president Amit Shah said that farmers in Gujarat were paying 16% interest on farm loans during Congress’s regime. “Then chief minister Narendra Modi brought interest rate down to 1%. Now, Vijay Rupani has brought it down to zero per cent,” said Shah.
“Congress should answer in which state has it offered loan at zero per cent interest to farmers. They should not name Punjab as there the Akalis did it, not Congress,” said Shah.
At present, Gujarat has a 7% interest on farm loans out of which 3% interest relief is given by the Centre while 3% relief is provided by the state government, bringing the effective interest rate to be paid by farmers at 1%.