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India's Modi launches property-card scheme to aid rural households

FILE PHOTO: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation during Independence Day celebrations at the historic Red Fort in Delhi, India, August 15, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a property-card scheme on Sunday that he vowed would provide clarity of property rights in villages and enable farmers to use their property as collateral for loans from financial institutions.

Two-thirds of India’s population lives in rural areas, where few possess proper land records and property disputes are common.

“This is a historic effort towards rural transformation,” Modi said in a webcast speech while launching the programme.

The government plans to use drone technology to map land parcels in rural areas and cover some 620,000 villages over the next four years, Modi said.

“Despite owning houses, people were facing multiple problems while borrowing from banks. These people can now borrow very easily from banks after showing property cards issued under ownership scheme,” Modi said.

An initial batch of 100,000 people from over 750 villages across six states will begin to receive the digitised property cards this month.

Each card will have a unique identity number similar to the Aadhaar card - the world’s biggest biometric identity project, covering more than a billion people in India.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by William Mallard

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