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FM's Rs 50,000 crore package for farmers

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January 09, 2004 15:56 IST

In an apparent bid to woo the farmers in an election year, the government on Friday announced a massive Rs 50,000 crore (Rs 500 billion), three-year programme to build agri-infrastructure and provide more rural credit.

Announcing a slew of agri-reform measures, just a day after he had unveiled an industry-package, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh said that the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has been asked to work out details for creation of an Agricultural Infrastructure and Credit Fund to implement the programme.

He said the fund will be made operational within four weeks and will be in addition to the already functional Rural Infrastructure Development Fund.

Under the AICF, the interest rate would be 2 per cent lower than the prime-lending rate to provide cheap credit to farmers and mitigate the difficulties of the farm sector.

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