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Notice

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by May 27, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

F. Lamont Heppe, Jr., Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., STOP 1522, Room 4036 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 720-9550. FAX: (202) 720-4120.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR part 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for reinstatement.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: F. Lamont Heppe, Jr., Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. FAX: (202) 720-4120.

Title: Deferment of RUS Loan Payments for Rural Development Projects.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0097.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Abstract: The Deferment of RUS Loan Payments for Rural Development Projects program allows RUS electric and telecommunications borrowers to defer the payment of principal and interest on any insured or direct loan made under the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936, as amended (7 U.S.C. 912). The purpose of the Deferment program is to encourage borrowers to invest in and promote rural development and rural job creation projects that are based on sound economic and financial analyses. This program is administered through 7 CFR part 1703, subpart H.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 3.5 hours per response.

Respondents: Business or other for profit, Not-for-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 4.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 10.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 140 hours.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Michele Brooks, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 690-1078. FAX: (202) 720-4120.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: March 3, 2003.

Curtis M. Anderson,

Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-7403 Filed 3-27-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-15-P