With the government announcing that over 35.11 lakh farmers across Maharashtra who have outstanding individual loans up to Rs 1.5 lakh will benefit from its loan waiver decision, more than half the beneficiaries will be from the 10 districts of Vidarbha and eight districts of Marathwada. As many as 11,46,768 farmers from Vidarbha and 10,83,932 from Marathwada will have their loans waived.
“The total number of farmers who will benefit from the loan waiver is 35,11,220 across Maharashtra. However, the list is restricted to only those farmers whose total individual outstanding loan is below Rs 1.5 lakh, irrespective of the size of their landholding,” said a senior officer in the high powered committee formed by the government to implement the decision.
According to the official, the list does not include the category of farmers whose outstanding individual dues are above Rs 1.5 lakh. Farmers who have regularly repaid their loan installments are eligible for a one-time benefit of Rs 25,000 as special incentive.
District and region-wise tabulation of such farmers is under way. The total number of beneficiaries is expected to be around 89 lakh.
Western Maharashtra, which is economically most prosperous, has a relatively lower number of beneficiaries, with 7,391,48 farmers making it to the list. North Maharashtra has a total of 4,39,619 beneficiaries, while Konkan has 1,0,1753. The list also has 694 farmers in Mumbai city and 119 in Mumbai suburbs among the beneficiaries.
Drought-hit Buldhana district in Vidarbha tops the beneficiary list with 2,49,818 farmers, followed by Beed in Marathwada with 2,08,480 farmers and Ahmednagar in western Mahara-shtra with 2,00,869 farmers.
According to sources in agriculture and finance ministries, drought-stricken Vidarbha and Marathwada regions have a larger number of farmers whose average loan works out to Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 per hectare. In western and north Maharashtra, the average loan taken by an individual farmer is in the range of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 2.8 lakh per hectare.
A report by NABARD also substantiates the higher crop credit disbursement in western Maharashtra compared to Vidarbha and Marathwada.
Meanwhile, officials said the inclusion of 694 farmers in Mumbai city and 119 in Mumbai suburbs in the beneficiary list would be rechecked. According to preliminary reports, loan was given to some fishermen who had agricultural land. Across the state, farmers have taken loans from state, commercial, district central cooperative and rural banks.