Members of the steering committee comprising representatives of various farmer groups on Saturday said guardian ministers won’t be allowed to unfurl the national flag at district headquarters on August 15 if the government fails to announce an unconditional loan-waiver. “The loan-waiver announced by the BJP-led government in the state is full of flaws and riders. Those should be done away with,” Raghunanthdada Patil, a member of the committee told reporters in Mumbai.
“There should be a total loan-waiver for farmers. Only then will we allow ministers to unfurl the national flag,” Patil said. A ‘chakka jam’ (shut down) protest will be organised all over the state on August 14, MLA Bachhu Kadu and Maharashtra Kisan Sabha leader Ajit Navle said.
“If the government ignores our demands, there will be a fresh farmers’ agitation in Maharashtra,” they said. On June 24, the state government had announced a Rs 34,000-crore crop loan-waiver for state’s marginal farmers.
Dubbed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Krushi Sanman Yojana, the scheme is designed to benefit about 89 lakh farmers. Under the scheme, farmers having outstanding loans between April 1, 2012, and June 30, 2016, would be entitled for the waiver. Loans up to Rs 1.5 lakh would be written off immediately, making some 35 lakh farmers instantly debt-free.
A one-time settlement scheme was offered to 9 lakh farmers who had debts of over Rs 1.5 lakh. They would be eligible for a waiver of 25 per cent of the outstanding amount or Rs 1.5 lakh, whichever was less, Fadnavis had said.