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

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Farmers

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.

IANS

India

Rahul yet to get special permission for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

The sources said that he could not apply during the stipulated period for the application to visit Kailash Mansarovar, and had applied for special permission, which is normally granted to the MPs but had not received a response to his application so far.

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who had expressed desire to go for Mansarovar Yatra after Karnataka elections, has not received a response to his request for special permission from the External Affairs Ministry, party sources said.

The sources said that he could not apply during the stipulated period for the application to visit Kailash Mansarovar, and had applied for special permission, which is normally granted to the MPs but had not received a response to his application so far.

According to a MEA press release dated February 21, the last date for registration was March 23.

However, Gandhi had announced his desire to undertake the pilgrimage on April 29 at the Jan Akrosh rally at the Ramlila Maidan here.

This year, the Yatra is scheduled from June 8 to September 8 through two routes, according to MEA.

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Truckers ‘postpone’ strike following request from centre

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Truckers

Kolkata/New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Truckers on Friday “temporarily postponed” their ongoing indefinite nationwide strike following a request from the Central government as Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was out of station.

The strike, that began from June 18, had been called from June 18 against the high diesel prices, high toll rates and a sharp hike of third party insurance premium, and had entered the fifth day on Friday.

In a media release, All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Association — which had called the strike — said the decision was taken following a telephone call from the Centre, which asked the strikers to come for discussion after June 27.

“We have received telephone call from (the) Central ministry, that since the Minister is not in station till June 27, (they have requested us) to call off the strike and come for discussion after June 27,” said AICOGOA General Secretary Rajendra Singh and President B. Channa Reddy.

“In view of this and in public interest, we have (decided to) postpone the truckers’ strike,” they said.

The AICOGOA said the call for talks was received from Gadkari’s office.

“We received call from Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s office and they have called us to talk… We have temporarily called off the strike because it was affecting truckers and people both,” another AICOGOA General Secretary Kausar Hussain told IANS.

Over 50 lakh vehicles remained off the road during the strike.

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Sahitya Akademi announces Bal and Yuva Puraskar for 2018

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Sahitya Akademi

New Delhi, June 22: India’s national academy of letters, the Sahitya Akademi, on Friday announced the names of 21 winners of its Bal Sahitya Puraskar and 21 recipients of the Yuva Puraskar for this year.

The Bal Puraskar awards will be conferred at a function on November 14, which is celebrated as Children’s Day, being the birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The date for conferring the Yuva Puraskar awards has not been declared yet.

“The awards were recommended by jury members representing 22 Indian languages, and approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi which met today under the Chairmanship of Dr. Chandrashekhar Kambar, President, Sahitya Akademi,” a statement said.

“Ten books of poetry, seven of short stories, three novels and one play” have been chosen for the Yuva Puraskar award.

The award comprises a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000 for both types of awards.

In the children’s category, awards have been declared for: Jugallochan Das (Assamese), Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay (Bengali), Sitaram Basumatary (Bodo), Easterine Kire (English), Chandrakant Sheth (Gujarati), Divik Ramesh (Hindi), Kanchyani Sharanappa Shivasangappa (Kannada), Zareef Ahmad Zareef (Kashmiri), Kumud Bhiku Naik (Konkani), Vaidya Nath Jha (Maithili), P.K. Gopi (Malayalam), Khangembam Shamungou (Manipuri).

Also named for the awards are: Ratnakar Matkari (Marathi), Bhim Pradhan (Nepali), Birendra Mohanty (Odia), Tarsem(Punjabi), C.L. Sankhla (Rajasthani), Sampadanand Mishra (Sanskrit), Laxminarayan Hansda (Santali), Kalpana Ashok Chellani (Sindhi), Kriungai Sethupathy (Tamil), Naramshetti Umamaheswar Rao (Telugu) and Rais Siddiqui (Urdu).

The award in the Dogri language category will be announced at a later date.

Poetry dominated the Yuva Puraskar awards this year. They have been declared for Samragnee Bandyopadhyay (Bengali), Esha Dadawala (Gujarati), Aasteek Vajpeyi (Hindi), Wilma Bantwal (Konkani), Umesh Paswan (Maithili), Tongbram Amarjit Singh (Manipuri), Jayadratha Suna (Odia), Dushyant Joshi (Rajasthani), Muni Rajsundar Vijay (Sanskrit) and Bala Sudhakar Mouli (Telugu).

The awardees in the short stories category include Bipasha Bora (Assamese), Padmanabha Bhat (Kannada), Dheeba Nazir (Kashmiri), Chhuden Kabimu (Nepali), Rani Murmu (Santali), Suneel Krishnan (Tamil), Shahnaz Rahman (Urdu).

The awards in the ‘novel’ category will be given to Amal (Malayalam), Navnath Gore (Marathi) and Gurpreet Sehji (Punjabi). Champa Chetnani has been cited for her Sindhi play.

No book was “found suitable” in the English language category. Awards for Bodo will be declared at a later date, while no award has been announced for Dogri.

Established in 1954 by the Indian government, Sahitya Akademi is India’s premier literary institution, promoting preserving literature in 24 languages.

IANS

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