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The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval to the following:

1. To continue interest subvention to Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Private Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), Cooperatives Banks and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to enable them to provide short-term crop loans up to Rs.3 lakh to farmers at 7 per annum during the year 2014-15.

2. To provide additional interest subvention of 3 percent per annum to those farmers who repay on time, that is within one year of disbursement of their short-term crop loans taken during the year 2014-15.

3. To permit the release of Rs. 18,583 crore as interest subvention for 2014-15 of which Rs. 4399 crore subvention to NABARD for refinance to Cooperatives Banks and RRBs and Rs.14,184 crore to Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks, RRBs and Cooperative Banks for subvention on their own funds.

4. To provide interest subvention to small and marginal farmers having Kisan Credit Cards for loan against negotiable warehouse receipts for post harvest at 7 percent per annum. interest for a period of six months that is at the same rates as applicable for crop loans as given in the para (1) above.

5. To permit the release of Rs. 321 crore as interest subvention to small and marginal farmers having Kisan Credit Cards against negotiable warehouse receipts, for post-harvest.

6. To provide relief to farmers affected by natural calamities, the interest subvention of two percent will continue to be available to banks for the first year on the restructured amount. Such restructured loans may attract normal rate of interest from the second year onwards as per the policy laid down by the RBI.

Background

The Government of India has since 2006-07 been subsidizing short-term crop loans to farmers in order to ensure the availability of crop loans to farmers for loans upto Rs.three lakh at seven percent per annum. This interest subvention scheme has been further continued for 2014-15 for PSBs, Private Sector Banks, RRBs and Cooperative Banks. In the year 2009-10, an additional subvention of 1 percent was provided to farmers who repay their loans on time. This has been increased from 2 percent in 2010-11 to 3 percent in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14. Thus, the effective rate of interest for such prompt-payee farmers is four percent.

Banks have been consistently meeting the target set for agriculture credit flow in the past years. For the year 2014-15, the target for agricultural credit flow has been raised to Rs.8,00,000 crore from Rs. 7,00,000 crore in the year 2013-14.

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PM reviews status of oxygen availability to ensure adequate supply
April 16, 2021
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PM Narendra Modi took a comprehensive review to ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country. Inputs from ministries like Health, DPIIT, Steel, Road Transport, etc were also shared with the PM. PM stressed that it is important to ensure synergy across ministries & state governments.

PM Modi also took a detailed review of current situation of oxygen supply and projected use in the coming 15 days across 12 high burden states (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan). An overview of district level situation in these states was presented to the PM.

PM was informed that the Centre and States are in regular contact and estimates for projected demand have been shared with states as on 20th April, 25th April & 30th April. Accordingly, 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT have been allocated to these 12 states for meeting their projected demand as on 20th April, 25th April and 30th April, respectively.

PM was briefed about production capacity in the country to meet the rising demand. PM suggested to increase oxygen production as per capacity of each plant. It was discussed that surplus stocks of oxygen supply in steel plants are being offered from medical use.

PM urged officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country. The Government has exempted all interstate movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits to enable easier movement. PM was informed that States and transporters have been asked to ensure tankers move round the clock with drivers working in shifts to ensure faster turnaround and adequate capacity to meet the surge in demand. Cylinder filling plants will also be permitted 24 hour working with necessary safeguards. The Government is allowing Industrial cylinders to be used for medical oxygen after due purging. Similarly nitrogen and argon tankers will be automatically allowed to be converted to oxygen tankers to overcome the potential shortage of tankers.

Officers also briefed the PM about the efforts being made to import medical grade oxygen.