Aurangabad, Dec. 14 (PTI): The government plans more cuts in interest rates on agriculture loans and is formulating a new scheme to bring down the debt burden of states.
“The ministry is working on a scheme to reduce interest rates on agriculture loans further and make it more accessible,” finance minister Jaswant Singh said here today.
Describing the heavy debt on states as a matter of concern, Singh said the government is formulating a scheme to reduce the debt burden and give relief to states in a phased manner.
The government has already announced a debt-swap programme under which the high cost debt of states would be halved. It is also in the process of restructuring the crop insurance scheme by including risk and price insurance, which would cover all crops under the insurance ambit, he said adding, a pilot scheme has been started in some districts.
Stressing on the need for a Second Green Revolution in the country, Singh said despite the drought, India was a net exporter of agriculture products last year and had the largest irrigated edible landmass in the world.
“Till all the districts in the country do not go forward on development, the dream of putting India as a frontline state among the developed nations would be delayed,” Singh added.
Even if this does not happen, India would be ranked among the developed nations in the future, he said, adding the economic condition of the country in the last 50 years was never “as good as it is today”.
The Centre’s endeavour is to maintain and increase the present growth rate, even as it is committed to extend all help to states to develop power infrastructure, he said.
Union labour minister Sahib Singh Verma said at the expo that the government has issued a notification for fixed-term appointment of workers and would soon move to make necessary amendments in the Contract Act.