The Maharashtra government is set to cap the loan write-off for individual farmers at Rs 1 lakh in an effort to restrict the outgo on account of a blanket loan waiver of Rs 30,000 crore. The ceiling could help the government cover all small and marginal farmers, including those reeling under a debt burden since 2012, according to top government sources.
Out of the 1.36 crore farmers in Maharashtra, there are 80 lakh who are regularly repaying loans. There are 31 lakh farmers who have been debt-ridden since 2012. Even among the 31 lakh farmers who are debt-ridden, the loan waiver would be restricted to the Rs 1 lakh ceiling.
The government also said on Monday that it would provide Rs 10,000 to each farmer to help purchase seeds and fertilisers to immediately begin sowing of crops for kharif season. The decision will help nearly 40 lakh farmers. Sources in the government said the loan waiver modalities and parameters to define the eligibility criteria would require some time. “Banks would be directed to immediately give Rs 10,000 to each farmers, especially those in debt and with small and marginal landholding, to enable them to procure seeds and fertilisers,” said an official.
According to government estimates, the Rs 10,000 direct help would lead to an additional burden of more than Rs 6,000 crore.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had indicated that the loan waiver was to provide maximum benefit to small, marginal and needy farmers across the board. The decision to extend Rs 1 lakh waiver to farmers beyond small and marginal is also a bid to dispel feelings of discrimination among the community. The CM has directed the committee led by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil and comprising farmer leaders Raju Shetti and Raghunath Patil to evolve a mechanism to ensure the decision benefits the poor and debt-ridden farmers only.
Higher rates for milk supply from June 20
Farmers supplying milk to dairy cooperative societies are set to get higher remuneration from June 20 to prevent exploitation by cooperatives. The proposal will be mooted at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.