Hemant sets March 31 target to link farmers with KCC scheme
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren has set a target of March 31 next year to link farmers with the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme and by October 15 this year for linking rural homeless people with housing schemes.
The directive was issued during a review of the performance of the agriculture, animal husbandry and cooperative department in Ranchi on Thursday.
According to sources in the chief minister’s secretariat, Soren was not pleased with the pace of issuance of Kisan Credit Cards.
“All deputy commissioners in the 24 districts should take up KCC linkage with farmers on a priority basis and work in coordination with banks. All state farmers, both landowners and landless, should be linked with KCC by March 31, 2022,” an official quoted Soren as saying during the review meeting.
There are nearly 38 lakh cultivable farmers (having own land) but the figure goes up to over 58 lakh, including the landless farmers. In the financial year 2020-2021, 13 lakh farmers were linked with the PM-Kisan scheme and in the current year over eight lakh have been included.
“The bottlenecks lie with the rejection rates of KCC beneficiaries by the banks. The deputy commissioners are working closely with the banks in sorting out hassles of documentation so that the rejection rate is brought to the lowest. We are confident of attaining the target,” said Nisha Oraon, director of agriculture.
The KCC is a government scheme that provides timely access to credit in the agriculture, fisheries and animal husbandry sectors. The scheme helps farmers in availing short-term loans and provide them with a credit limit to purchase equipment. It exempts them from the high interest rates for the regular loans offered by banks and reduces their reliance on moneylenders.
During the review of the rural development department, Soren directed the officials to cover the needy and eligible beneficiaries with government housing schemes in rural areas and ensure that they are linked with the rural housing schemes of the central and state governments by October 15 this year.
The chief minister also directed officials of the food, public distribution and consumer affairs department to ensure that all beneficiaries get the first lot of saris, dhotis and lungis (garments provided at a subsidised rate by the state government) before Durga Puja in the first week of October through the public distribution shops.
Soren had re-launched an old government scheme named after his grandfather Sona Sobran, providing dhotis, saris and lungis at Rs 10 to poor families in Jharkhand last month. The scheme was discontinued by the erstwhile BJP-led government in 2015. The scheme covers 58 lakh BPL families.
The ST/SC, minority department secretary, K.K. Soan, told the chief minister that by October over 16 lakh eligible matric students would be registered for government scholarship schemes in the state.
The chief minister during the review of the energy department directed officials to prepare an action plan for setting up solar power plants as a business model providing income as it would act as an incentive for more people to take up this business. The deputy commissioners were directed to identify maximum land for solar power plants in their respective districts.
The chief minister on Thursday reviewed 17 government departments in a marathon meeting that lasted till late evening.