It has been two weeks since CM Yogi Adityanath took up office but his cabinet is yet to officially meet. Government sources said the main reason for putting it on hold is to keep PM Narendra Modi’s promise made during the poll campaign— that the BJP would decide on a farmers’ loan waiver in the first cabinet meeting. They added that some officers had suggested the cabinet could decide on the issue and formulate a policy later, but CM Adityanath insisted that a decision be made once the policy is clear so that there are no hurdles.
Following this, senior officers are engaged in working out options for a scheme. BJP, in its manifesto, promised to waive loans of all “laghu evam simant kisan” (small and marginalised farmers).
“Such decisions are not taken in haste. I can assure that the decision would be taken soon and a large number of farmers would be benefited,” said Surya Pratap Shahi, state Agriculture Minister.
Some say the estimated burden of this sort of loan waiver is beyond the capacity of the state government to handle in a single financial year. Sources say, according to finance department’s calculations, there were over 2 crore small and marginalised farmers in UP and an outstanding debt of close to Rs 62,000 crore.