New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced an additional release Rs 30,000 crore as emergency funds for farmers hit by the unprecedented coronavirus crisis. The additional emergency funds will benefit around 3 crore farmers.

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Finance Minister said that the emergency fund will provide help to marginal and small farmers in post-harvest Rabi crops. Sitharaman also clarified that this emergency fund is in addition to Rs 90,000 crore support by NABARD, which provide credit for agricultural activities.

The move has been announced given the inadequate financial resources with Small and Marginal Farmers. The capital would be extended by NABARD to Rural co-operative banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) who would pass on the credit to the farmers.

The Finance Minister said that under this scheme, front-loaded on-top facility will be provided to 33 state cooperative banks, 351 district cooperative banks and 43 regional rural banks based on their lending capacity.

"This will meet the post harvest (Rabi) and current Kharif requirement in May/June. This will directly reach rural India and the small, marginal farmers," Nirmala Sitharaman said. 

Key Highlights:

- This is over and above Rs 90,000 crores to be provided by NABARD through the normal refinance route during this year.

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- Front-loaded on-tap facility to 33 state co-operative banks, 351 district co-operative banks and 43 RRBs available on tap based on their lending

- To benefit around 3 crore farmers - mostly small and marginal farmers

- To meet post-harvest (Rabi) and current Kharif requirement in May/June

Apart from this, Nirmala Sitharaman also announced that the government will provide Rs 2 lakh concessional credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers through Kisan Credit Cards. She also said that the fishermen and animal husbandry farmers will also be included in the Kisan credit card scheme, which will enable them to gain access to institutional credit at the concessional interest rate.

Key Highlights:

- Special drive to be undertaken to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards

- Fishermen and Animal Husbandary farmers will also be included in this drive

- This will enable such farmers to gain access to institutional credit at a concessional interest rate

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- 2.5 crore farmers will be covered and will benefit from the credit flow of about Rs 2 lakh crores.

Posted By: Talib Khan