In her last budget before the state goes to polls, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today announced a one-time crop loan waiver of up to Rs 50,000 for small and marginal farmers, and land revenue exemption.
The chief minister also announced the constitution of a farmers debt relief commission.
The loan waiver is for marginal farmers in the overdue and outstanding category of short loan provided by cooperative banks. This will cost Rs 8,000 crore to the state exchequer.
Raje also announced constitution of a farmers debt relief commission that will work as a permanent institution. Farmers would be able to get relief on merit basis after presenting their case before the commission.
She also announced land revenue (lagan) exemption that would benefit almost 40-50 lakh farmers.
To promote agro-based industries and services, Raje announced to increase maximum limit of interest subsidy in a year from 5 lakh to 7.5 lakh.
Interest subsidy for women, disabled, SC/ST and entrepreneurs who are bonafide residents of Rajasthan and are up to 40 years of age, was enhanced to 6 per cent from 5 per cent.
Infrastructure support subsidy with maximum limit of Rs 5 crore was also proposed for first unit established in most backward area investing more than Rs 50 crore under each sector of agro-processing and agri-marketing, bio-technology and IT sector.
In rural areas, valuation of agriculture land up to 1,000 sq mtr will be done at the rate of agriculture land instead of the rate of residential land to help farmers sell or buy the land for agriculture purposes.
The chief minister also announced to allot 2 lakh agriculture electricity connections which were pending till January 2012.
Other announcements for the agriculture sector included interest subsidy of Rs 384 crore for short-term crop loan to farmers through central cooperative banks, increase in the capacity for storage of additional 5 lakh metric tonne at the cost of Rs 350 crore for the produce procured at MSP.
Besides, Raje announced a subsidy of Rs 50 lakh to one 'Nandi Gaushala' in each district and a mini plant for processing and marketing of camel milk in Jaipur with a cost of Rs 5 crore on pilot basis.
When the chief minister announced one-time crop loan waiver, opposition members created uproar demanding complete loan waiver.
Leader of opposition, Rameshwar Dudi, Congress whip, independent MLA Hanuman Beniwal and other Congress members briefly disrupted the house, alleging the waiver was a betrayal with the farmers.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)