Calling it a milestone in his life, and in the history of Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday formally launched the Jai Kisan Crop Loan Waiver scheme by accepting loan waiver applications from 10 farmers at an event in Bhopal.
Launched less than a month after Nath was sworn in, and 10 days after the state Cabinet cleared it, the scheme is expected to benefit 55 lakh farmers with outstanding loans up to Rs 2 lakh against their names. Of these 55 lakh beneficiaries, about 35 lakh are small and marginal farmers, according to government estimation.
The cost to the exchequer is likely to be Rs 50,000 crore. The cut-off date was extended from March 31, 2018 to December 12, 2018 in an effort to include even farmers who had repaid loans partly or fully.
The process of accepting application forms from farmers will end on February 5, and actual benefits will start rolling on February 22, the government has announced.
Mocking the BJP for doubting the government’s ability to meet the Congress’s pre-election promise of loan waiver, Nath said the opposition party need not bother about budgetary allocation, as the scheme is not a gift to farmers but an investment in the agriculture sector.
He said MP needs a different investment policy because it cannot imitate the policy of states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra or Odisha, which have ports. Maintaining that he is working out a suitable policy for MP, Nath said he is in touch with industrialists for investment in the state. Opposition BJP alleged that the scheme’s name was changed from CM Fasal Rin Maafi Yojana to Jai Kisan Fasal Rin Maafi Yojana.