India is mainly an agricultural nation, with more than 60% of the population engaged in agriculture to earn a living. Launched in 1988, the Kisan Credit Card scheme is a Government of India initiative to give farmers access to timely credit. With the aim of letting farmers have short-term credit, the program was created by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, or NABARD. Earlier, farmers were forced to take loans from money lenders in the highly unorganized sector of money lending. This is a more formal way and saves the farmer the stress of the higher interest rates that informal money lending burdens them with. Farmers can avail of a loan as they require it, with the interest that is levied being “dynamic”. This means that if farmers make time-bound payments, they will be rewarded with a lower interest rate to be paid by them.
Objectives and Benefits
In 2019, the government announced that it intended to reach more than 1 crore of farmers within a span of 100 days with its credit card scheme. The primary objective of letting the Indian farmer avail of a credit card scheme, official in nature, is to save poor farmers who depend on informal money lenders who charge high interest on loans they take. Additionally, farmers get stressed out, as these money lenders force them to adhere to strict deadlines. Farmers have to rely on the weather for their crop yields to produce a profit. Several times, the crop is destroyed due to natural calamities like drought, floods, etc. Farmers may not be able to pay loans to moneylenders who exert undue pressure. The Kisan Credit Card thus brings relief to farmers, with flexible repayment plans. Furthermore, insurance for crops and insurance free of collateral are additional benefits to users. Farmers not only face challenges of updating machinery but have to meet daily expenses that they can ill afford.
Easy to get a Kisan Credit Card
By May 2020, 2.5 crore Indian farmers had used the Kisan Credit Card scheme. The Kisan Credit Card is offered by a number of banks. Some of these let you avail yourself the facility of getting a Kisan Credit Card online. Apply in a hassle-free way on the bank’s website. The special section to apply under is the agricultural banking section. You will discover the Kisan Credit Card listed there, and you can press the “apply” button. Here are detailed steps.
- Log on to the official website of any bank, and click on the section that specifies the Kisan Credit Card. You may have to fill in a form, depending on the bank’s website that you visit.
- Alternatively, you may be asked to download an application form. You need to fill this out.
- You will need to physically visit the bank in question with the documents that are required to process the loan.
- Documents needed are proof of identity (Pan Card/Aadhaar Card/Voter ID), and proof of address documents, such as an Aadhaar Card, Passport, utility bill, ration card, etc.
- In addition to the above-mentioned documents, applicants need recent passport-size photographs.
Eligibility includes a minimum age of 18 years and a maximum of 75 years. In case the applicant is a senior citizen, above the age of 60, a co-applicant is mandatory. All farmers are eligible to apply for this card, including tenant farmers, joint cultivators and oral lessees.
Easy Payment Schemes
From time to time, the Kisan Credit Card scheme goes through regular revisions in order to modify its structure or functions. In 2016, an electronic card was introduced, and this has a tie-up with the physical credit card. If you are in need of cash for any payment, or need additional funds to meet payment needs, you can avail the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard. This can be used as a powerful payment tool with multiple functions of an ATM card, cash card, loan card and an EMI card. You can use it at ATMs free of cost for up to 90 days, and pay for products on easy EMIs with nominal interest rates of 1.16%.