A day after Karnataka decided to waive farmer loans, Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu said loan waivers has become fashion. “Loan waiver has become fashion now. Loan should be waived but in extreme situations only as it’s not final solution,” Naidu was quoted as saying by news agency ANI in Mumbai. “We have to take care of farmers,” he added while speaking at the BSE office in Mumbai.
“See what happened to Air India, government has no business to be in business. It needs to focus on healthcare, administration, education and basic amenities,” Naidu said in his address while launching Pune’s municipal bond program.
Reacting sharply to Naidu’s comment, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the comments were disrespectful towards the farmer community. “36-40,000 farmers have committed suicide in last three years. Calling loan waiver fashionable is a disrespect to our anndaata,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah urged PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday to waive farm loans taken from commercial and nationalised banks as well. He said loans amounting to Rs 8,165 crore will be waived through the state government’s move, helping over 22.27 lakh farmers. UP, Maharashtra and Punjab have also announced farm loan waivers.
Farmers in different parts of the country have been demanding fair crop prices and loan waivers. So far the governments of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have decided to waive farmer loans in their state.