Give adequate loans to drought-hit farmers: Odisha CM to banks

Bhubaneswar, Nov 7 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday directed banks to provide adequate loans to farmers for the Rabi season, and also asked banks not to recover till March 2016 the loans taken by farmers for the Kharif crop.

The chief minister’s direction came after a review meeting with bankers over the drought situation in the state.

The government will provide fresh finance to the tune of Rs.4,500 crore to drought-hit farmers for Rabi cultivation.

With about 139 blocks of 21 districts facing a drought situation, Patnaik said the banks must achieve the set target in lending to the agriculture sector.

The chief minister said the 139 blocks, as per estimates, have faced 33 percent crop loss while 41 blocks faced more than 66 percent crop loss due to scanty rainfall this year.

The state government has already announced a package of about Rs.1,000 crore for drought-hit farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33 percent or more.

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