Maharashtra govt announces Rs 34,000-crore farm loan waiver, to benefit 89 lakh farmers

The CM further said that aware of the burden that will fall on all cabinet ministers, they will cut our expenses. "All ministers and MLAs will give one month salary to support loan waiver," he added.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 24, 2017 10:34 pm
Devendra Fadnavis, Farm loan waiver, Maharashtra, Maharashtra farm loan waiver, farmers, Maharashtra chief minister, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis addresses a press conference on loan waiver, in Mumbai on Saturday. PTI Photo

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday announced Rs 34,000 crore crop loan waiver for farmers in the state and said the government will waive loans up to Rs 1.5 lakhs completely. The Maharashtra chief minister also said the loan waiver scheme—’Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Krushi Sanman Yojana’ will benefit around 89 lakh farmers in the state and will make around 40 lakh debt-free. The decision was ratified by the Cabinet. “Those farmers who have paid back their loans regularly, we will give 25 per cent loan return benefit to them. We are aware of the burden that will fall on all cabinet ministers, they will cut our expenses. All ministers and MLAs will give one month salary to support loan waiver,” he said.

Fadnavis further said it’s a historic decision and the biggest loan waiver ever given in Maharashtra. In addition to this, the chief minister said the government will tie up with banks to cope with the financial burden which would be repaid in instalments over four years.

According to Fadnavis, the waiver will help all debt-ridden farmers and small and marginal ones entirely. He also admitted that the loan waiver will put a burden on the state treasury. Assuring that this step will make 90 per cent farmers loan free completely, the CM also made it clear that those who have an income of more than 10 lakhs per annum will not be benefitted in this loan waiving scheme.

Making the announcement, Fadnavis said, “There has been a demand for loan waiver for farmers, who have been severely affected due to continuous drought since 2012. They were not able to get new loans for their crops
until previous debt was paid. We have time and again assured that we will help the distressed farmers.”

“In the last 2-3 days, we have held dialogues with various stake-holders, leaders of political parties, farmers groups, and finally decided to grant the biggest loan waiver given by any state in the country,” he said.

The state government decided to announce the biggest loan waiver scheme, even though the agriculture loans per household in Maharashtra were almost half as compared to other states, said Fadnavis.

“The 7/12 land extracts of farmers having loans up to Rs 1.5 lakh will be cleared, thereby making around 40 lakh cultivators debt-free. Farmers, whose crop loan has been restructured from 2012 to 2016 and who are still defaulters as on June 30, 2016, will get incentives up to 25 per cent of the crop loan or Rs 25,000, whichever is less. For 6 per cent farmers, the government will bring in an OTS (one time settlement) scheme, under which those who have debts of Rs 1.5 lakh, will get 25 per cent of the outstanding amount or Rs 1.5 lakh, whichever is less,” added Fadnavis.

READ | Banks in Maharashtra start disbursing loan to farmers

Earlier on Friday, the chief minister met NCP president Sharad Pawar in New Delhi and explained the loan waiver to him. The meeting happened a week after the farmers’ agitation led by Swamibhani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti. The discussion between the ministers was mainly based on the loan waiver and the decision to extend a fresh crop loan of Rs 10,000 that has already been enforced in Maharashtra through national, commercial and district central cooperative banks from June 22.

On June 11, the state government announced complete loan waiver to lakhs of farmers in the state. There are 1.36 crore farmers in the state and their loans add up to Rs 1.14 lakh crore but the government estimates that the loan waiver will not exceed Rs 35,000 crore when parameters are introduced to weed out non-farming categories to ensure that genuine farmers reap maximum benefits.

READ | The return of kisan politics

A six-member committee was formed by the Maharashtra government to look into the various demands of farmers, including the loan waiver. The joint committee comprised of senior minister Diwakar Raote of the Shiv Sena, Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Cooperatives Minister Subhash Deshmukh and Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.

According to a PTI report,”Farmers in many parts of Maharashtra were on a warpath early this month, which disrupted the supply of vegetables and other essentials to cities, including Mumbai. They were demanding a loan waiver, which was backed by all political parties. The stir was called off after the government gave them a firm assurance on bringing in a comprehensive scheme to help the debt-pressed cultivators.”

With PTI Inputs

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  1. N
    NaveenNayak
    Jun 25, 2017 at 4:18 am
    Wow ! what a measure ! to help farmers? No wonder many big industrialists get involved in buying agricultural land and use village folks as farmers to draw big loans in their name , cultivate and make profits, BUT the villager remians poor on paper unable to return the loan given by Banks NEW mode of looting Govt treasury - time we have a well audited system for waiving loans !
    Reply
  2. C
    ck
    Jun 24, 2017 at 8:53 pm
    Definitely waiver of loan should have been giving in all states, because formers are suffering of their poor commercial farm growth because, lac of this regime last year . But this is not the solution for advancement. It is also the fact that commodity prices will rise and effect on overall economy which will further down. More over this will become the practice in future, political ground and benefit of handling.
    Reply
  3. A
    Anad
    Jun 24, 2017 at 8:17 pm
    At last populism wins over good governance ! Instead of increasing the income of farmers thru better MSP and distribution of the farm produce these irresponsible announcement of waiving loans only push the country back to bullock cart .What credibility is there for Modiji who criticised the previous govt for doling out free schemes and subsidies ? From where will the govt raise whopping 35 K cr to waive loans ? How many rich and super rich farmers like Sharad pawar and Prathibha patil are in the list of beneficiaries? How much you can raise by giving one month ries of MLA or reducing their expenses ? Another Shivraj Chauhan , CM of MP got wisdom only after shooting down few farmers and realising the pulse of the people .What stupid he is to sit on dharna against violence when he is ruling the party and responsible for the law and order ? Now leaders after leaders and exposing their stupidity and by next election BJP will become another COngress
    Reply
  4. N
    Niladrinath Mohanty
    Jun 24, 2017 at 7:59 pm
    Loan waiver is OK for political purpose. I think it will lead to inflation and price rise and will set up a vicious cycle.
    Reply
  5. T
    Trun
    Jun 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm
    Few days back BJPs Venkaiah Naidu was saying it's becoming fashion for parties to announce farm loan waiver. Hope Fadnavis invited him to this Fashion show.
    Reply
  6. S
    Suhas
    Jun 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm
    Also please announce from where u r going to raise the money. Now with GST, u can not raise taxes. What are u going to do for honest farmers or to those who have taken loan less than 1.5 L. U will punish them for being honest.actually, all registered farmers should get certain amount per hector he or she holds and not the amount of loan he has defaulted.
    Reply
  7. R
    ritesh
    Jun 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm
    Excellent use of Taxpayers money . But only BJP State Govts should be allowed to dole out subsidies, interest waivers, loan waivers , freebies ....etc. When a non-BJP state govt engages in similar tactics , it will become an anti-national , unethical practice. Who will repay the Banks who give out these loans ? Who cares ! We must think about those things only when some other party comes to power.
    Reply
  8. M
    Manohar Sharma
    Jun 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm
    Why to farmers only? Why not the other poor people like Rikshaw Puller, Vegetable Seller, Shoe Repairer, Milk Seller, Small Trader, House Cleaner etc? Shame on the Govts those are bending in front of the GOONDAGARDI of farmers!
    Reply
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