India’s Central Bank has approved the continuation of the Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) Short Term Loans for Agriculture and Allied Activities availed through Kisan Credit Card (KCC) during the financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24. However, the scheme is modified with certain stipulations for the above period.
According to RBI notification on Wednesday, all Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks, and Small Finance Banks in respect of loans given by their rural and semi-urban branches only), Small Finance Banks (SFBs) and computerized Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) which have been ceded with Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs), on use of their own resources are entitled to Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) subject to certain stipulations.
This interest subvention will be calculated on the loan amount from the date of disbursement/drawal up to the date of actual repayment of the loan by the farmer or up to the due date of the loan fixed by the banks, whichever is earlier, subject to a maximum period of one year.
The applicable lending rate to farmers and the rate of interest subvention for the financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24 will be as follows:
|Financial year||Lending rate to farmers||Rate of interest subvention to Lending Institutions|
An additional interest subvention of 3% per annum will be provided to such of those farmers repaying in time, i.e., from the date of disbursement of the loan/s up to the actual date of repayment or up to the due date fixed by the banks for repayment of such loan/s, whichever is earlier, subject to a maximum period of one year from the date of disbursement. This also implies that the farmers repaying promptly as above would get short-term crop loans and/or short-term loans for allied activities including animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries, beekeeping, etc., @ 4% per annum during the financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24. This benefit would not accrue to those farmers who repay their agri-loans after one year of availing of such loans.
Interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive benefits on short-term crop loans and short-term loans for allied activities will be available on an overall limit of ₹3 lakh per annum subject to a maximum sub-limit of ₹2 lakh per farmer in respect of those farmers involved only in activities related to animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries, beekeeping, etc. The limit for crop loan component will take priority for interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive benefits and the residual amount will be considered towards allied activities including animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries, beekeeping, etc., subject to the cap as mentioned above.
“In order to discourage distress sale by farmers and to encourage them to store their produce in warehouses, the benefit of interest subvention under KCC will be available to small and marginal farmers for a further period of up to six months post the harvest of the crop against negotiable warehouse receipts on the produce stored in warehouses accredited with Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA), at the same rate as applicable to the crop loan,” said RBI.
RBI further said that “To provide relief to farmers affected by natural calamities, the applicable rate of interest subvention for that year will be made available to banks for the first year on the restructured loan amount. Such restructured loans will attract a normal rate of interest from the second year onwards”.
However, to provide relief to farmers affected due to severe natural calamities, the applicable rate of interest subvention for that year will be made available to banks for the first three years/entire period (subject to a maximum of five years) on the restructured loan amount. Further, in all such cases, the benefit of prompt repayment incentive @3% per annum shall also be provided to the affected farmers. The grant of such benefit in cases of severe natural calamities shall, however, be decided by a High Level (HLC) based on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) and Sub Committee of the National Executive Committee (SC-NEC).
Aadhar linkage under ISS would continue to be mandatory for availing the above-mentioned short-term loans in 2022-23 and 2023-24.