Fresh sops for coffee growers

Government to bear the total amount of waiver

Fresh sops for coffee growers

As per the coffee debt relief package for those coffee growers who had availed loans prior to 2002 fifty per cent of the total liability will be waived subject to a maximum benefit of Rs 5 lakh per farmer. This entire amount of waiver will be borne by the Centre, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while replying to debate on the Finance Bill 2010 in the Lok Sabha.

An additional 25 per cent shall be waived by banks and the balance amount will be rescheduled.  The package also envisages 20 per cent waiver of liability under crop loans with 10 per cent each being borne by the Centre and banks respectively, subject to a maximum benefit of Rs 1 lakh.

In case of loans availed by coffee growers after 2002 ten per cent of the total liability will be waived subject to a maximum benefit of Rs 1 lakh, Mukherjee said. The package shall also provide relief to medium and large farmers, who will be permitted to reschedule the loans.

“The total financial implication for the central government is Rs 241.33 crore while benefit to coffee growers will be around Rs 362.82 crore,” Mukherjee said.  Taking note of the plight of debt-ridden coffee growers he said the coffee growers in the country had been facing long standing financial problems ever since the coffee prices fell to “very low levels” during the period 2000-2004.

Relief packages in the form of Special Coffee Term Loan 2002 and Special Coffee Relief Package 2005 were sanctioned to revive coffee sector, besides other initiatives like Prime Minister’s Relief Package for Debt Stressed farmers and Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme 2008. However, a large number of affected growers did not get the required relief, he said.

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