Friday, 4 September 2015

Task force on farmer suicides submits first report to Devendra Fadnavis-Asian Age

Task force on farmer suicides submits first report to Devendra Fadnavis


A task force recently appointed to suggest ways to prevent farmer suicides and bring about agricultural reforms has advised the government to impose “agro strengthening special tax” and bring a five years’ crop loan policy instead of the existing one.
Late Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission led by Nagpur-based activist Kishor Tiwari submitted their first report to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis with several recommendations, including restoration of farm credit and insurance to farmers and restructuring of rural financial institutions to make them socially sensitive.
The panel that incorporated recommendations of several committees appointed by central and state governments suggested that the government expand outreach of the formal credit system to include the poor and reduce rate of interest for crop loans to four per cent.
“There should be a moratorium on debt recovery, including loans from non-institutional sources, and waiver of interest on loans in distress hotspots and during calamities, till capability is restored. An Agriculture Risk Fund should also be established to provide relief to farmers in the aftermath of successive natural calamities,” said the report submitted to the state government.
“An integrated credit-cum-crop-livestock-human health insurance package should be developed and crop insurance cover should be expanded to cover the entire state and all crops with reduced premiums,” said Mr Tiwari, panel chief and president of the Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti.
The panel advised the government to create a Rural Insurance Development Fund to take up development work for spreading rural insurance. Sustainable livelihoods for the poor should be promoted by improving financial services, infrastructure and investments in human development, agriculture and business development services.
The report further stated, “While advancing farm credit, banks often place a number of undue restrictions and rigid criteria about season, cropping pattern, scale of finance, among others. Instead of the prevailing annual cropping pattern consideration, an average cropping pattern for five years minimum should be used in setting limit and advancing loans.”
“A plan for ‘moneylender-free village’ should be adopted where at least one member of each family in a village should become a member of some self-help group (SHG). Also, every rural and semi-urban branch of each bank should adopt one village in its jurisdiction,” it said.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Maharashtra government-appointed panel suggests ways to address agrarian crisis-By PTI


The Economic Times


Maharashtra government-appointed panel suggests ways to address agrarian crisis


Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently constituted a panel under activist and Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently constituted a panel under activist and Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari.
MUMBAI: A Maharashtra government-appointed task force to suggest ways to prevent farmer suicides has advised the government a slew of measures like restoration of farm credit, insurance to farmers and restructuring rural financial institutions, among others to resolve the agrarian crisis. 

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently constituted a panel under activist andVidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari to address the issue of agrarian crisis in the state. 

The panel which has incorporated the recommendations of several committees appointed by the Central and the state governments, suggested the Maharashtra government to expand the outreach of the formal credit system to reach the poor and reduce the rate of interest for crop loans to 4 per cent. 

"There should be a moratorium on debt recovery, including loans from non-institutional sources, and waiver of interest on loans in distress hot-spots and during calamities, till capability is restored. 

"An agriculture Risk Fund should also be established to provide relief to farmers in the aftermath of successive natural calamities," the report, submitted to the state government, stated. 

An integrated credit-cum-crop-livestock-human health insurance package should be developed and crop insurance cover should be expanded to cover the entire state and all crops with reduced premiums, it said. 

The panel also advised the government to create a Rural Insurance Development Fund to take up development works for spreading rural insurance. 

Sustainable livelihoods for the poor should be promoted by improving financial services, Infrastructure and investments in human development, agriculture and business development services, it said. 

"While advancing farm credit banks often place a number of undue restrictions and rigid criteria about season, cropping pattern, scale of finance, etc. Instead of the prevailing annual cropping pattern consideration, an average cropping pattern for five years minimum should be used in setting limit and advancing loans," the report said. 

It further said the debt waiver scheme implemented in 2007-08 has not addressed the "indebtedness arising from the non-institutional creditors." 

"A plan for 'Moneylender-free Village' should be adopted where at least one member of each family in a village should become a member of some Self-help Group (SHG). Also, every rural and semi-urban branch of each bank should adopt one village in its jurisdiction," it said.