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Cabinet approves 5% subsidy on short-term farm loan interest




New Delhi, June 14, 2017: In a bid to boost agricultural productivity, the Union cabinet on Wednesday approved a 5 per cent subsidy on farm loan interest for 2017-18 on the short-term agricultural credit of up to Rs 3 lakh payable within a year.

The government has earmarked Rs 20,339 crore for this purpose.

“The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) for farmers for 2017-18 to help them getting short-term crop loan up to Rs 3 lakh payable within one year at only 4 per cent per annum rate of interest,” an official statement said here.

The Centre will provide interest subvention of 5 per cent per annum to all prompt payee farmers for such loans raised during 2017-18.

“Farmers will thus have to effectively pay only 4 per cent interest. In case farmers do not repay their loan in time, they will be eligible for interest subvention of 2 per cent instead of 5 per cent,” it said.

The interest subvention will be given to public and private banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks on the use of own funds and to the National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for refinance to these rural and cooperative banks.

The Interest Subvention Scheme will continue for a year and implemented by NABARD and the Reserve Bank of India, it said.

The scheme has been running since 2006-07. During 2016-17, the volume of short-term crop loans raised stood at Rs 6,22,685 crore.

Moreover, in order to give relief to small and marginal farmers who would have to borrow at 9 per cent interest for post-harvest storage of farm produce, the government has approved an interest subvention of 2 per cent — an effective interest rate of 7 per cent for loans up to 6 months.

The loans are available to Kisan Credit Card Holder small and marginal farmers at an interest subvention of 2 per cent on such storages for up to six months. “This will help the farmers to sell the produce when the market is buoyant, and avoid distress sale.”

“To provide relief to the farmers affected by natural calamities, the interest subvention of 2 per cent will be provided to banks for the first year on the restructured amount,” the statement said.

“This institutional credit will help in delinking the farmers from non-institutional sources of credit, where they are compelled to borrow at usurious rates of interest,” it said.

Since the crop insurance under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is linked to availing of crop loans, the farmers would stand to benefit from both the farmer-oriented initiatives of the government.

All short-term crop loan accounts will be Aadhaar-linked from current year, it said.



Would not let any political party join me, says Anna Hazare



New Delhi, March 24:  Social activist Anna Hazare, who is on indefinite hunger strike, said that he would not let any political party join him.

Speaking to ANI, anti-corruption crusader said that whoever will join the movement with him, has to sign an affidavit stating that they’ll neither join any political party or group nor will participate in elections.

“Whoever joins the movement, signs affidavit which states, that they’ll neither join any political party or group nor will contest elections, ensure service to country, society and maintain good character. I’ll not let any political party or group come on this stage,” Hazare asserted.

Hazare began his indefinite fast at Ramlila Ground on Friday in a bid to bring about a competent Lokpal and ensure better production cost for farm produce.

The Gandhian has been pressing for setting up of the Lokpal at the Narendra Modi government and Lokayuktas in the states, besides implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, which has recommended measures to meet the agrarian distress.


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CBI books two cases in Rs 539-crore IDBI fraud in Andhra, Telangana



CBI raids

Hyderabad, March 24: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked 41 persons including three officials of the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) for cheating the bank to the tune of Rs 539 crore in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The federal agency registered two separate cases relating to large-scale frauds in IDBI branches in the two states in sanctioning pisciculture loans.

In the first case, 31 persons including IDBI’s General Manager Battu Rama Rao and former Chief General Manager R. Damodaran, 22 aggregators and bank panel valuers were booked for cheating the bank to the tune of Rs 445.32 crores. Rama Rao has also been removed from the service.

The central agency booked the accused on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, criminal misconduct and misappropriation.

The action came after a complaint by IDBI official in Hyderabad that about 220 borrowers, consisting of 22 aggregators, conspired with IDBI bank officials at its Basheerbagh (Hyderabad) and Siripuram (Visakhapatnam) branches, along with bank panel valuers, and availed Kisan Credit Card (KCC) and pisciculture loans through 220 loan accounts from different branches of the bank aggregating Rs 198.28 crore

The loans, which were availed on the basis of fake documents and overvalued collateral property, subsequently become NPA. The outstanding amount as on September 2017 stood at Rs 445.32.

It was found that pisciculture or no other fish farming activity was ever taken up in the said lands in East and West Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh and Adilabad district in Telangana and that sanctioned loans were misappropriated.

Bank panel valuers Lt. Col. B.K. Sahoo, Aakar Consulting Engineers, R.A. Sharma, M.V. Srinivasulu, Subha Syndicate, Srinivasa Rau and Somasekhara Rao were among those booked.

In the second case, the CBI booked a IDBI official and nine others for defrauding the bank to the tune of Rs 93.73 crore.

Chandrasekhar Harish Chennapagari, who was working as Assistant General Manager at Guntur branch of IDBI, allegedly abused his official position to process and sanction 142 pisciculture loans from 2010 to 2012. He has been removed from service by the IDBI.

Investigations revealed that the loans were sanctioned on the basis of fake documents. The accused include a bank panel valuer, a bank panel advocate, aggregators and individual borrowers.


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PNB Scam: ED attaches Nirav Modi’s properties worth Rs 25 cr



New Delhi, March 24: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said that it has attached properties worth Rs 25 crore of diamond jeweller Nirav Modi in connection with its ongoing probe into the Rs 13,540 crore PNB fraud case.

An ED official told IANS that the searches were carried out on Thursday at Nirav Modi’s palatial residence ‘Samudra Mahal’ in Mumbai along with a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team.

The official also said that the searches continued till Saturday morning and resulted in the seizure of antique jewellery worth Rs 15 crore, high-end watches valued at Rs 1.40 crore and paintings worth Rs 10 crore that includes artworks by M.F. Hussain, K.K. Hebbar, Amrita Shergil.

The ED also attached a diamond ring valued at Rs 10 crore.

The financial probe agency’s action comes after it registered a separate case against the diamond jeweller and his uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali Group for defrauding the banks to the tune of Rs 13,540 crore.

Till date, the ED has carried out searches at over 251 properties across the country and seized diamond, gold, precious and semi precious stones, pearls.

The ED has also attached immovable properties belonging to Nirav Modi Group and Mehul Choksi group to the tune of Rs 7,638 crore.

Choksi, Nirav Modi and his family fled in January around a month before the PNB filed first complaint against them about the fraud and they are still at large.

With Agencies Inputs 

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