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Opposition Congress and NCP on Thursday slammed the BJP-led government in Maharashtra Legislative Council for allocating funds to civic bodies to offset losses faced by traders and ignoring their farm loan waiver demand. Raising the issue soon after the House assembled for the day, Anant Gadgil (Congress) wanted to know how could the government ignore the plight of farmers of Maharashtra.
Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde drew the Chair’s attention to the unseasonal rains and hailstorms that lashed parts of Marathwada on Wednesday, damaging grams, sugarcane, grapes and other crops.
“Farmers already overburdened by debt burden have now been hit hard by unseasonal rains,” Munde said.
Accusing the government of being indifferent towards the hardships faced by cultivators, Munde said the BJP-led ruling coalition has done nothing to restructure farm loans after coming to power in October 2014.
“The government did nothing to restructure farmers loans. At the same time, it allocated Rs 10,000 crore to municipal corporations to offset losses incurred by traders,” the senior NCP legislator said.
Munde said the government was keen to bail out traders but was ignoring farmers.
Sharad Ranpise (Congress) lambasted SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya over her remarks on farm loan waivers.
Bhattacharya yesterday expressed reservations over farm loan waiver schemes, saying such sops may disrupt credit discipline among borrowers.
“What right does the SBI chief has to make such a statement? The government has funds to bail out industrialists but has no money to help farmers,” Ranpise said.
Replying to the debate, Minister for Cooperation Chandrakant Patil said a loan waiver would cost Rs 30,000 crore to the government and a decision on the issue can’t be taken on the spot.
Patil said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would be making a statement on the issue in the Upper House, but this didn’t happen.
As the opposition members raised slogans, Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar adjourned the proceedings for 45 minutes.
When the House reassembled, the Chair rushed through the business that included passage of supplementary demands on budget. Amid the uproar, the Chairman adjourned the House for the day.