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India's agricultural sector has been the lifeline of the nation for centuries, providing sustenance and livelihoods to millions. The Government of India recognizes the pivotal role farmers play in the country's economy and has taken several initiatives to support them. One such initiative is the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme, a financial lifeline that empowers not only farmers but also individuals engaged in fisheries and animal husbandry. The KCC scheme helps them with affordable and timely credit without having to be at the mercy of unscrupulous moneylenders who charge exorbitant interest rates.

This visionary initiative was introduced by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and primarily serves as a channel for providing short-term credit. Under the KCC scheme, farmers can avail loans at interest rates as low as 2% per annum. This remarkable feature makes KCC an indispensable financial tool for India's rural population.

Kisan Credit Card Features and Benefits

KCC is designed to cater to the diverse financial needs of India's farmers and rural entrepreneurs. Here are some of the key features and benefits of KCC:

1.Revolving Cash Credit: KCC operates as a revolving cash credit account, enabling farmers to access funds as per their requirements. This flexibility ensures that farmers have the necessary financial resources when they need them the most.

2.Versatile Usage: KCC funds can be utilized for various purposes, including covering the costs of crop cultivation, purchasing equipment, managing post-harvest expenses, fulfilling working capital requirements, and even addressing household needs.

3.Collateral-Free Loans: One of the most appealing aspects of the KCC scheme is that it offers collateral-free loans for amounts up to Rs. 1.60 lakhs. This relieves farmers from the burden of providing security for their loans.

4.Higher Loan Limits: The KCC scheme allows for a maximum loan amount of Rs. 3 lakhs, ensuring that farmers can access substantial credit support for their agricultural and allied activities.

5.Interest Subvention: The government offers interest subvention to borrowers who make prompt payments, reducing the cost of borrowing for farmers.

6.Flexible Repayment Period: The repayment period under the KCC scheme is intricately linked to the harvesting and marketing period of the crop for which the loan was taken. This alignment ensures that farmers are not burdened with excessive repayment demands during non-harvest periods.

7.Insurance Cover: KCC also offers insurance benefits, providing coverage against permanent disability and death (up to Rs. 50,000) and protection against other risks (up to Rs. 25,000). This is an essential safety net for farmers facing the uncertainties of agricultural life.

Kisan Credit Card Interest Rates

Interest rates under the Kisan Credit Card scheme may vary among different banks and financial institutions. However, as per government directives, banks offer interest subvention to borrowers who make timely payments, allowing interest rates to be as low as 2%. It's worth noting that other fees and charges associated with KCC may differ from one bank to another.

Kisan Credit Card Eligibility Criteria

The Kisan Credit Card scheme is inclusive and caters to a wide range of individuals involved in farming and related activities. The eligibility criteria for KCC are:

  • Individuals involved in farming - This includes owner-cum-cultivators, tenant farmers, oral lessees, and sharecroppers.
  • Self-Help Groups and Joint Liability Groups - These groups, including tenant farmers and sharecroppers, are eligible for KCC.
  • Farmers eligible for short-term credit - Individuals engaged in crop production, allied activities, and non-farm activities can avail the KCC benefits.
  • Fish farmers and fishermen - Those involved in inland fisheries, aquaculture, and open water body or pond ownership/leasing.
  • Poultry and dairy farmers - If they own, lease, or rent sheds for their operations.

It's important to note that farmers are eligible for a KCC if they meet the criteria for a production credit of Rs. 5,000 or above and reside within the bank's operational area.

Documents Required for KCC

Obtaining a Kisan Credit Card requires individuals to provide proof of identity and address. The following documents are acceptable:

Proof of Identity:

PAN card

Aadhaar card

Driver's License


Voter's ID Card

OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) Card

PIO (Person of Indian Origin) Card

Job card issued by NREGA

Letters of Aadhaar issued by the UIDAI

Proof of Address:

Aadhaar card

Driver's License


Latest Utility bill

Ration card

Property Registration Document

PIO (Person of Indian Origin) Card

Job card issued by NREGA

Bank account passbook or statement

In addition to these documents, banks may require passport-size photographs and any other documentation they deem necessary to complete the application process.

How to Apply for Kisan Credit Card

Applying for a Kisan Credit Card is a straightforward process, with both online and in-person options available:

Online Application:

1. Visit the website of your preferred bank and navigate to the Kisan Credit Card section.

2. Download and print the KCC application form.

3. Fill in the KCC application form with the required details.

4. Submit the completed application form and necessary documents at the nearest bank branch.

5. A loan officer will guide you through the process and provide the necessary information.

6. Once your loan amount is sanctioned, the KCC will be dispatched to you.

7. You can start using the credit card once you receive it.

In-Person Application (Branch Visit):

1. Visit the bank branch of your choice.

2. Get in touch with a bank official who will assist you in filling out the application form.

3. The loan officer will provide essential information and process your application.

How Does a Kisan Credit Card Work?

The Kisan Credit Card operates in a manner similar to a regular credit card but with some key distinctions:

  • The cardholder is assigned a pre-defined credit limit that can be utilized based on their needs.
  • Interest is only applicable to the utilized amount. Timely repayment can qualify the cardholder for interest subvention, resulting in a lower interest rate.
  • The dynamic loan feature allows cardholders to withdraw funds as needed, avoiding excessive interest costs associated with large lump-sum loans.

PM Kisan Samman Nidhi

The government's commitment to supporting farmers extends beyond the Kisan Credit Card scheme. After the 2020 budget, a significant step was taken to merge the Kisan Credit Card scheme with the Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme. This merger allows beneficiaries of the Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme to access Kisan Credit Cards and obtain loans for farming at a concessional rate of only 4%.

How to Apply for a Kisan Credit Card through the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme

  • Fill out a one-page form available on all commercial banks' websites and published in leading newspapers.
  • Provide basic information about land records and crops sown.
  • Submit the form at Common Service Centres (CSC) responsible for forwarding the forms to bank branches.
  • Banks are encouraged to motivate existing customers to avail credit under the scheme.

Leading Indian Banks Providing Kisan Credit Card

Several prominent banks in India offer Kisan Credit Card, each with its own terms and conditions:

1. State Bank of India: Credit limits are based on the needs and crop production pattern of the farmer. Interest rates are up to 7% for loans up to Rs. 3 lakh and as applicable from time to time for loans above Rs. 3 lakhs.

2. Axis Bank: Credit limits are determined based on factors such as land under cultivation, cropping patterns, and scale of finance. Interest rates are 10.70% for production credit and 13.30% for investment credit.

3. HDFC Bank: Credit limits are based on land under cultivation, cropping patterns, and scale of finance, with an average annual percentage rate (APR) of 10.08%.

4. Bank of India: Credit limits are contingent on the type of crop, area under cultivation, and scale of finance, with interest rates as applicable from time to time.

Please note that all banks issuing Kisan Credit Cards offer interest subvention as directed by the government, making credit more accessible and affordable for farmers.

FAQS on Kisan Credit Card

1. What is a Kisan Credit Card Loan?

The Kisan Credit Card loan is a Government of India scheme under NABARD aimed at providing farmers with loans at low interest rates. After interest subvention, the interest rate can be as low as 2%, preventing farmers from falling into debt traps.

2. How is the Kisan Credit Card Loan amount calculated by the bank?

The loan amount extended to cardholders is determined by the loan officer during the application process. Factors considered include farm area, farming-related expenses, and consumption needs.

3. What security or collateral will the bank demand to sanction the loan amount?

Banks do not require security or collateral for loans up to Rs. 1.60 lakh. Beyond this amount, banks may request suitable collateral, which could include the crop for which the loan was obtained or other assets such as tractors and equipment.

4. What is the tenure of the loan that can be taken out via the Kisan Credit Card?

The maximum tenure for loans taken through the Kisan Credit Card is 5 years.

5. What interest rate will be applied to the loan amount taken via a Kisan credit card?

The interest rate can vary depending on the applicant's profile. However, a reference table shows the potential interest rates:

  • Interest Rate at the time of Application: 4% per annum
  • Interest Rate on Prompt Payment: 3% per annum
  • Interest Rate on Late Payment: 7% per annum

It's important to note that the interest rate may vary case by case and is subject to the bank disbursing the loan.

6. What are the factors in calculating the credit limit of the Kisan Credit Card?

The initial credit limit for the Kisan Credit Card is determined based on factors such as land area, crop sown, pre- and post-harvest expenses, household requirements, and other expenses required for crop maintenance and farm assets, including crop insurance and personal accident insurance.

7. How can I apply for this credit card?

If you are eligible for the Kisan Credit Card, you can apply online by visiting your preferred bank's website and filling out the application form. Alternatively, you can visit the nearest bank branch or NABARD office to obtain an application form. The application form for Kisan Credit Card (KCC) in Hindi is also available for those who may not understand English.

8. What incentives and waivers are available on these credit cards?

Banks typically do not require collateral security for loans up to Rs. 1.60 lakh, offering an additional layer of financial security for farmers.

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