Three weeks after announcing farm loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh, the state government on Thursday set up a Cabinet sub-committee to recommend schemes that could provide relief to farmers whose outstanding crop loan is above Rs 2 lakh and also to those who have repaid their loans regularly.
The sub-committee, headed by Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar, will have Eknath Shinde, Dada Bhuse (both with Shiv Sena), Ashok Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat (both with Congress and Balasaheb Patil (NCP) as members.
Officials from the cooperation department said that the sub-committee is expected to submit the report in a month. “The sub-committee will study and suggest an appropriate scheme to provide relief to the farmers. It is also expected to study and recommend a scheme for those farmers who have paid their loans regularly,” said an official.
Last month, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced farm loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme for outstanding crop loans till September 30, 2019. Sources in the government said the loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh will put an additional burden of Rs 30,000 crore on the government and is set to benefit 40 lakh farmers.
The official said the sub-committee will also assess the financial burden that the government would have to bear while providing relief to farmers who have loans of more than Rs 2 lakh. “Based on the recommendations, budgetary provision will be made.”
Another official said that the government has also asked district central cooperative banks and primary agricultural credit cooperative societies not to charge interest from last October on loans of farmers who are eligible under the farm loan waiver scheme. “If interest is charged, there is a possibility that accounts of some farmers may show arrears despite availing the loan waiver. It will make the farmers ineligible to get new loans in the coming season. Directives have been issued to ensure that they get fresh loans,” the official added.
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