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Date : May 23 2008
Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008

RBI / 2007-2008/ 330
RPCD.No.PLFS.BC.72 /05.04.02/2007-08

May 23, 2008

The Chairman/Managing Director
All Scheduled Commercial Banks (including Local Area Banks)

Dear Sir,

Union Budget – 2008-09 – Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008

As you are aware, the Hon’ble Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech (paragraph 73) for 2008-09 has announced a debt waiver and debt relief Scheme for farmers, for implementation by all scheduled commercial banks, besides RRBs and co-operative credit institutions.

2. The detailed Scheme notified by the Government of India along with necessary explanations is enclosed. The scheduled commercial banks (including Local Area Banks) may take necessary action towards implementation of the Scheme at the earliest. The implementation of the Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme should be completed by June 30, 2008.

3. Further communication in respect of this Scheme would follow.

4. In case of RRBs and co-operatives, a separate circular is being issued by NABARD.

Yours faithfully,

(G.Srinivasan)
Chief General Manager – in – Charge


AGRICULTURAL DEBT WAIVER AND DEBT RELIEF SCHEME, 2008]

Language version of the Scheme

1. Introduction

1.1. The Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech for 2008-2009, announced a Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme for farmers.

1.2. Guidelines for implementation of the Scheme are given below.

2. Scope

2.1 The Scheme will cover direct agricultural loans extended to ‘marginal and small farmers’ and ‘other farmers’ by Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Cooperative Credit Institutions (including Urban Cooperative Banks) and Local Area Banks (hereinafter referred to compendiously as ';lending institutions';) as indicated in the Guidelines.

2. 2 The Scheme shall come into force with immediate effect.

3. Definitions

3.1. ‘Direct Agricultural Loans’ means Short Term Production Loans and Investment Loans provided directly to farmers for agricultural purposes. This would also include such loans provided directly to groups of individual farmers (for example Self Help Groups and Joint Liability Groups), provided banks maintain disaggregated data of the loan extended to each farmer belonging to that group.

3.2. ‘Short Term Production Loan’ means a loan given in connection with the raising of crops which is to be repaid within 18 months. It will include working capital loan, not exceeding Rs. 1 lakh, for traditional and non-traditional plantations and horticulture.

3.3. ‘Investment Loan’ means

(a) investment credit for direct agricultural activities extended for meeting outlays relating to the replacement and maintenance of wasting assets and for capital investment designed to increase the output from the land, e.g. deepening of wells, sinking of new wells, installation of pump sets, purchase of tractor / pair of bullocks, land development and term loan for traditional and non-traditional plantations and horticulture; and

(b) investment credit for allied activities extended for acquiring assets in respect of activities allied to agriculture e.g. dairy, poultry farming, goatery, sheep rearing, piggery, fisheries, bee-keeping, green houses and biogas.

3.4. ‘Cooperative Credit Institution’ means a cooperative society that

i) provides short-term crop loans to farmers and is eligible for interest subvention from the Central Government; or
ii) carries on banking activities regulated or supervised by RBI or NABARD; or
iii) is part of the Short-Term Cooperative Credit Structure or Long-Term Cooperative Credit Structure in a State or Union Territory.

3.5. ‘Marginal Farmer’ means a farmer cultivating (as owner or tenant or share cropper) agricultural land up to 1 hectare (2.5 acres).

3.6. ‘Small Farmer’ means a farmer cultivating (as owner or tenant or share cropper) agricultural land of more than 1 hectare and up to 2 hectares (5 acres).

3.7. ‘Other Farmer’ means a farmer cultivating (as owner or tenant or share cropper) agricultural land of more than 2 hectares (more than 5 acres).

Explanation:

1. The classification of eligible farmers as per the above landholding criteria under the Scheme would be based on the total extent of land owned by the farmer either singly or as joint holder (in the case of an owner-farmer) or the total extent of land cultivated by the farmer (as tenant or share cropper), at the time of sanction of the loan, irrespective of any subsequent changes in ownership or possession.

2. In the case of borrowing by more than one farmer by pooling their landholdings, the size of the largest landholding in the pool shall be the basis for the purpose of classification of all farmers in that pool as ‘marginal farmer’ or ‘small farmer’ or ‘other farmer’.

3. In the case of a farmer who has obtained investment credit for allied activities where the principal loan amount does not exceed Rs.50,000, he would be classified as ';small and marginal farmer'; and, where the principal amount exceeds Rs.50,000, he would be classified as ‘other farmer’, irrespective in both cases of the size of the land holding, if any.

4. Direct agricultural loan taken under a Kisan Credit Card would also be covered under this Scheme subject to these Guidelines.

5. A short-term production loan and an investment loan taken by a farmer shall be counted as two distinct loans and the Scheme will apply to the two loans separately. Likewise, in the case of a farmer who has taken two investment loans for two separate purposes, the two loans shall be counted as two distinct loans and the Scheme will apply to the two loans separately.

4. Eligible amount

4.1 The amount eligible for debt waiver or debt relief, as the case may be (hereinafter referred to as the ‘eligible amount’), shall comprise of:

(a) in the case of a short-term production loan, the amount of such loan (together with applicable interest):

(i) disbursed up to March 31, 2007 and overdue as on December 31, 2007 and remaining unpaid until February 29, 2008;
(ii) restructured and rescheduled by banks in 2004 and in 2006 through the special packages announced by the Central Government, whether overdue or not; and
(iii) restructured and rescheduled in the normal course up to March 31, 2007 as per applicable RBI guidelines on account of natural calamities, whether overdue or not.

(b) in the case of an investment loan, the installments of such loan that are over due (together with applicable interest on such installments) if the loan was:

(i) disbursed up to March 31, 2007 and overdue as on December 31, 2007 and remaining unpaid until February 29, 2008;
(ii) restructured and rescheduled by banks in 2004 and in 2006 through the special packages announced by the Central Government; and
(iii) restructured and rescheduled in the normal course up to March 31, 2007 as per applicable RBI guidelines on account of natural calamities.

Explanation: In the case of an investment loan disbursed up to March 31, 2007 and classified as non-performing asset or suit filed account, only the installments that were overdue as on December 31, 2007 shall be the eligible amount.

4.2. The following loans shall not be included in the eligible amount:

(a) advances against pledge or hypothecation of agricultural produce other than standing crop; and
(b) agricultural finance to corporates, partnership firms, societies other than cooperative credit institutions (referred to in para 3.4), and any similar institution.

4.3 Nothing contained in this Scheme shall apply to any loan disbursed by a lending institution prior to March 31, 1997.

5. Debt Waiver

5.1. In the case of a small or marginal farmer, the entire ‘eligible amount’ shall be waived.

6. Debt Relief

6.1. In the case of ‘other farmers’, there will be a one time settlement (OTS) Scheme under which the farmer will be given a rebate of 25 per cent of the ‘eligible amount’ subject to the condition that the farmer pays the balance of 75 per cent of the ‘eligible amount’;

Provided that in the case of revenue districts listed in Annex-I, ‘other farmers’ will be given OTS rebate of 25 per cent of the ‘eligible amount’ or Rs.20,000, whichever is higher, subject to the condition that the farmer pays the balance of the ‘eligible amount’.

7. Implementation

7.1. Every branch of a scheduled commercial bank, regional rural bank, cooperative credit institution, urban cooperative bank and local area bank covered under this Scheme shall prepare two lists, one consisting of ‘small and marginal farmers’ who are eligible for debt waiver and the second consisting of ‘other farmers’ who are eligible for debt relief under this Scheme. The lists shall include particulars of the landholding, the eligible amount and the amount of debt waiver or debt relief proposed to be granted in each case. The lists shall be displayed on the notice board of the branch of the bank/society on or before June 30, 2008.

7.2. A farmer classified as ‘small farmer’ or ‘marginal farmer’ will be eligible for fresh agricultural loans upon the eligible amount being waived.

7.3. A farmer classified as ‘other farmer’ eligible for OTS relief shall give an undertaking agreeing to pay his share (that is eligible amount minus the amount of OTS relief) in not more than three instalments and the first two instalments shall be for an amount not less than one-third of his share. The last dates of payment in the case of three instalments will be September 30, 2008; March 31, 2009 and June 30, 2009.

7.4. The undertaking shall be in such form as may be prescribed by RBI/NABARD.

7.5. The amount of OTS relief (i.e. the Central Government’s share) will be credited to the account of the ‘other farmer’ upon the farmer paying his share in full.

7.6. In the case of a short-term production loan, the ‘other farmer’ will be eligible for fresh short-term production loan upon paying one-third of his share.

7.7. In the case of an investment loan (for direct agricultural activities or allied activities), the ‘other farmer’ will be eligible for fresh investment loan upon paying his share in full.

7.8. Reserve Bank of India shall be the nodal agency for the implementation of the Scheme in respect of scheduled commercial banks, urban cooperative banks and local area banks. NABARD shall be the nodal agency in respect of regional rural banks and cooperative credit institutions.

8. Interest and other charges

8.1. The lending institutions shall not charge any interest on the ‘eligible amount’ for any period after February 29, 2008. However, in the case of an ‘other farmer’ who defaults in paying his share of the eligible amount on or before June 30, 2009 and becomes ineligible for OTS relief, the bank may charge interest for the period after June 30, 2009.

8.2. Instalments of investment credit which fall overdue after 31.12.2007 shall be recovered by the lending institutions along with the applicable interest. Lending institutions may, however, in appropriate cases, reschedule these instalments in accordance with the normal policy of the lending institution concerned.

8.3. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Scheme, the amount of interest that a lending institution may claim as reimbursement from the Central Government under this Scheme shall not, in any case, exceed the principal amount of the loan.

8.4. Ministry of Finance will issue supplemental instructions to the lending institutions in respect of all incidental and ancillary matters including instructions on interest and other charges that shall not be claimed by the lending institutions from the farmer or the Central Government.

9. Certificate of debt waiver or debt relief

9.1. In the case of small and marginal farmers, upon waiver of the eligible amount, the lending institution shall issue a certificate to the effect that the loan has been waived and specifically mention the eligible amount that has been waived.

9.2. In the case of ‘other farmers’, upon granting OTS relief, the lending institution shall issue a certificate to the effect that the loan account has been settled to the satisfaction of the lending institution and specifically mention the eligible amount, the amount paid by the farmer as his share and the amount of OTS relief.

9.3. The certificate shall be in such form as may be prescribed by RBI/NABARD and upon issuing the certificate the lending institution shall take an acknowledgement from the farmer.

10. Obligations of the lending institutions

10.1 Every lending institution shall be responsible for the correctness and integrity of the lists of farmers eligible under this Scheme and the particulars of the debt waiver or debt relief in respect of each farmer. Every document maintained, every list prepared and every certificate issued by a lending institution for the purposes of this Scheme shall bear the signature and designation of an authorised officer of the lending institution.

10.2 Every lending institution shall appoint one or more Grievance Redressal Officers for each State (having regard to the number of branches in that State). The name and address of the Grievance Redressal Officer concerned shall be displayed in each branch of the lending institution. The Grievance Redressal Officer shall have the authority to receive representations from aggrieved farmers and pass appropriate orders thereon. The order of the Grievance Redressal Officer shall be final.

10.3 Any farmer who is aggrieved on the ground that his name has not been included in either of the two lists referred to in paragraph 7.1 or on the ground that his name has been included in the wrong list or on the ground that the relief granted to him has been calculated wrongly, may make a representation through the branch from which he received the loan or directly to the Grievance Redressal Officer of the lending institution concerned and every such representation shall be disposed of within 30 days of receipt thereof.

11. Audit

The books of account of every lending institution that has granted debt waiver or debt relief under this Scheme (including the books of accounts maintained at the branches) shall be subject to an audit in accordance with the procedure that may be prescribed by RBI/NABARD. The audit may be conducted by concurrent auditors, statutory auditors or special auditors as may be directed by RBI/NABARD. The Central Government, if it is satisfied that it is necessary to do so, may direct a special audit in the case of any lending institution or one or more branches of such lending institution.

12. Publicity

12.1. A copy of this Scheme in English and in the official language or languages of the State/Union Territory shall be displayed in each branch of every lending institution covered under this Scheme.

12.2. A copy of this Scheme will be available on the websites of the Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services; RBI; and NABARD.

13. Interpretation and power to remove difficulties

13.1. If any doubt arises on the interpretation of any paragraph of this Scheme or any instructions issued thereunder, the Central Government shall resolve the doubt and the decision of the Central Government shall be final.

13.2. If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of the Scheme or any instructions issued thereunder, the Central Government may by order do anything which appears to it to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of removing the difficulty.

14. Monitoring

There shall be constituted a National Level Monitoring Committee consisting of

(i) Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance – Chairperson
(ii) Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture
(iii) Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India;
(iv) Chairman, NABARD;
(v) Chairman and Managing Director of two public sector banks;
(vi) Chairman of two Regional Rural Banks; and
(vii) Managing Director of two State Level Cooperative Banks to monitor the implementation of the Scheme.
(viii) Annex 1 (to the Guidelines)


Revenue Districts covering DPAP, DDP areas and PM’s Special Relief Package Districts

STATE

SL.NO.

DISTRICTS covered under DPAP, DDP and PMS’s Relief Package

ANDHRA PRADESH

1

1.

Adilabad

2

2.

Chittoor

3

3.

Cuddapah

4

4.

Khammam

5

5.

Kurnool

6

6.

Medak

7

7.

Mehaboobnagar

8

8.

Nalgonda

9

9.

Prakasam

10

10.

Rangareddy

11

11.

Srikakulam

12

12.

Anantpur

13

13.

Warangal

14

14.

Guntur

15

15.

Karimnagar

16

16.

Nellur

17

17.

Nizamabad

BIHAR

18

1.

Bhabhua

19

2.

Jamui

20

3.

Madhubani

21

4.

Nawadah

22

5.

Rohtas

23

6.

Sitamarhi

CHHATISGARH

24

1.

Bastar

25

2.

Bilaspur

26

3.

Dantewara

27

4.

Durg

28

5.

Janjgir-Champa

29

6.

Kabridham

30

7.

Korba

31

8.

Rajnandgaon

GUJARAT

32

1.

Ahmedabad

33

2.

Amreli

34

3.

Bharuch

35

4.

Bhavnagar

36

5.

Dahod

37

6.

Dang

38

7.

Junagadh

39

8.

Narmada

40

9.

Navasari

41

10.

Panch Mahals

42

11.

Porbandar

43

12.

Sabarkantha

44

13.

Vadodara

45

14.

Valsad

46

15.

Banaskantha

47

16.

Jamnagar

48

17.

Kutchchh

49

18.

Patan

50

19.

Rajkot

 

51

20.

Surendranagar

HARYANA

52

1.

Bhiwani

53

2.

Fatehabad

54

3.

Hissar

55

4.

Jhahhar

56

5.

Mohindergarh

57

6.

Rewari

58

7.

Sirsa

HIMACHAL PRADESH

59

1.

Bilaspur

60

2.

Solan

61

3.

Una

62

4.

Kinnaur

63

5.

Lahaul and Spiti

JAMMU & KASHMIR

64

1.

Doda

65

2.

Udhampur

66

3.

Ramban

67

4.

Kishtwar

68

5.

Reasi

69

6.

Kargil

70

7.

Leh

JHARKHAND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

71

1.

Bokaro

72

2.

Chatra

73

3.

Deoghar

74

4.

Dhanbad

75

5.

Dumka

76

6.

Garhwa

77

7.

Godda

78

8.

Hazaribagh

79

9.

Jamtara

80

10.

Koderma

81

11.

Latehar

82

12.

Pakur

83

13.

Palamau

84

14.

Sahebganj

KARNATAKA

85

1.

Bangalore Rural

86

2.

Belgaum

87

3.

Bidar

88

4.

Chamaraja Nagar

89

5.

Chickmaglur

90

6.

Chitradurga

91

7.

Davanagere

92

8.

Dharwad

93

9.

Gadag

94

10.

Gulbarga

95

11.

Hassan

96

12.

Haveri

97

13.

Kolar

98

14.

Mysore

99

15.

Tumkur

100

16.

Kodagu

101

17.

Shimoga

102

18.

Bagalkote

103

19.

Bellary

104

20

Bijapur

105

21.

Davanagere

106

22.

Koppal

107

23.

Raichur

KERALA

108

1.

Wayanad

109

2.

Palakkad

110

3.

Kasaragod

MADHYA PRADESH

111

1.

Barwani

112

2.

Betul

113

3.

Bhind

114

4.

Chhindwara

115

5.

Damoh

116

6.

Dewas

117

7.

Dhar

118

8.

Guna

119

9.

Jabalpur

120

10.

Jhabua

121

11.

Khandwa

122

12.

Khargaon

123

13.

Panna

124

14.

Raisen

125

15.

Rajgarh

126

16.

Ratlam

127

17.

Rewa

128

18.

Shahdol

129

19.

Shajapur

130

20.

Shivpuri

131

21.

Sidhi

132

22.

Seoni

133

23.

Umaria

134

24.

Ashok Nagar

135

25.

Anuppur

MAHARASHTRA

136

1.

Ahmednagar

137

2.

Akola

138

3.

Amravati

139

4.

Aurangabad

140

5.

Beed

141

6.

Buldhana

142

7.

Chandrapur

143

8.

Dhule

144

9.

Gadchiroli

145

10.

Hingoli

146

11.

Jalgaon

147

12.

Jalna

148

13.

Latur

149

14.

Nagpur

150

15.

Nanded

151

16.

Nandurbar

152

17.

Nashik

153

18.

Oshmanabad

154

19.

Parbhani

155

20.

Pune

156

21.

Sangli

157

22.

Satara

158

23.

Solapur

159

24.

Washim

160

25.

Yavatmal

161

26.

Wardha

ORISSA

162

1.

Bargarh

163

2.

Bolangir

164

3.

Boudh

165

4.

Dhenkanal

166

5.

Kalahandi

167

6.

Nuapada

168

7.

Sonepur

169

8.

Phulbani

RAJASTHAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

170

1.

Ajmer

171

2.

Banswara

172

3.

Baran

173

4.

Bharatpur

174

5.

Dungarpur

175

6.

Jhalawar

176

7.

Karauli

177

8.

Kota

178

9.

Sawai Madhopur

179

10.

Tonk

180

11.

Udaipur

181

12.

Barmer

182

13.

Bikaner

183

14

Churu

184

15.

Hanuman Garh

185

16.

Jaipur

186

17.

Jaiselmer

187

18.

Jallore

188

19.

Jhunjhunu

189

20.

Jodhpur

190

21.

Nagaur

191

22.

Pali

192

23.

Rajsamand

193

24.

Sikar

194

25.

Sirohi

TAMILNADU

195

1.

Coimbatore

196

2.

Dharmapuri

197

3.

Dindigul

198

4.

Karur

199

5.

Krishnagiri

200

6.

Namakkal

201

7.

Perambalur

202

8.

Pudukottai

203

9.

Ramanathapuram

204

10.

Salem

205

11.

Sivaganga

206

12.

Tiruchirapalli

207

13.

Tirunelveli

208

14.

Tiruvannamalai

209

15.

Thothukudi

210

16.

Vellore

211

17.

Virudunagar

UTTAR PRADESH

212

1.

Allahabad

213

2.

Bahraich

214

3.

Balrampur

215

4.

Banda

216

5.

Chitrakoot

217

6.

Hamirpur

218

7.

Jalaun

219

8.

Jhansi

220

9.

Lakhimpur Kheri

221

10.

Lalitpur

222

11.

Mahoba

223

12.

Mirzapur

224

13.

Shravasti

225

14.

Sitapur

226

15.

Sonbhadra

UTTRAKHAND

227

1.

Almora

 

228

2.

Bageswar

229

3.

Chamoli

230

4.

Champavat,

231

5.

Pauri Garhwal

232

6.

Pithoragarh,

233

7.

Tehri Garhwal

WEST BENGAL

234

1.

Bankura

 

235

2.

Birbhum

236

3.

Medinapur West

237

4.

Purulia

Total No. of districts

 

237 Districts


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