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Govt should direct banks not to send notices to rain-hit farmers for recovery of loans: Fadnavis

“Some farmers have received notices from banks asking them to pay loan installments... At a time when lakhs of farmers across the state have lost their Kharif harvest (due to the recent untimely rain), expecting them to repay loans in time would be inhuman,” said Fadnavis.

Mumbai, Pune | October 21, 2020 1:44:25 am
Uddhav Thackeray government, rain-hit farmers, Maharashtra farmers, Maharashtra floods, Devendra Fadnavis, Mumbai news, Maharashtra news, Indian express newsBJP leader Devendra Fadnavis

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said the Uddhav Thackeray government should issue strict orders to financial institutions, asking them to not send notices to rain-affected farmers for recovery of loans.

“Some farmers have received notices from banks asking them to pay loan installments… At a time when lakhs of farmers across the state have lost their Kharif harvest (due to the recent untimely rain), expecting them to repay loans in time would be inhuman,” Fadnavis, the leader of Opposition in the Assembly, told mediapersons in Osmanabad on the second day of his tour of rain-affected districts.

“The government should issue strict orders to financial institutions to not send notices to for loan recovery,” added the former CM, who on Tuesday visited villages in Osmanabad, Latur and Beed in Marathwada, which have been lashed by heavy rain earlier this month.

“Don’t ridicule the farmers. Yesterday, the government handed Rs 3,800 as compensation to farmers. For someone who has lost his entire crop, can such little amount be of any help?” he said.

“In the past, both Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his deputy Ajit Pawar had asked for Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 per hectare as compensation for farmers who have lost crops. They should now follow this,” he added.

“I have already requested Union Home Minister Amit Shah to give financial assistance to the state. I will also urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do the same,” he said.

On NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Fadnavis said, “He is a matured and knowledgeable leader. He never says anything wrong. Currently, he has the responsibility to defend an inefficient government.”

Supporting Pawar’s demand to raise loan to help flood-hit farmers, he added: “Pawar has rightly said that the state government can take loan to help farmers. The RBI has increased the loan limit for Maharashtra to Rs 1.20 lakh crore. The state has a loan liability of around Rs 60,000 crore. It can easily borrow up to Rs 70,000 crore.”

Reacting to Fadnavis remarks that state should first spell out what it intended to do for the aggrieved farmers, state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat said, “The Centre owes Rs 30,000 crore to Maharashtra by way of GST dues. If the Centre had given the state these dues, the state would not have had any problem in extended immediate help to the affected farmers.”

Meanwhile, on the government ordering a probe into Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan, Fadnavis said: “The scheme was a collective decision taken by villages… It was based on the need to combat drought. More than six lakh works have been completed under the scheme. Of these, complaints were received for 700.”

Earlier this month, the Uddhav government had decided to conduct an inquiry into the scheme, which was a pet project of Fadnavis.

This was after a CAG report raised questions on the quality of work, cost and the scheme’s impact.

Launched in December 2014, the goal of the scheme was to make Maharashtra drought-free by 2019.

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