Farmers’ groups that are unhappy with the state’s loan waiver scheme will resume their agitation from October 20 with a state-wide protest. “The conditions that the state government have imposed for approving the loan waiver of farmers means that lakhs of needy farmers will be left out of the scheme. The state government’s plan to distribute the loan waiver sum in steps is to ensure that the wrath of farmers does not get directed against them,” said Dr Ajit Nawle, the convener of the coordination committee of agitating farmers.
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday released Rs 4,000 crore under the first phase of its Rs 34,000-crore farm loan waiver scheme. The government distributed certificates to select farmers mentioning the outstanding sum that is being waived.
Nawle said the state government was still refraining from clarifying the total loan amount to be waived and how many farmers would benefit under the scheme. “There is serious contradiction in the numbers that the government is presenting. On the last day of submission of online applications on September 21, it had said that 58 lakh applications have been received. On Wednesday, however, they said of the total 98 lakh farmers who hold bank accounts, only 55 lakh had filed their forms,” Nawle said. As part of their agitation on Friday, farmers will demand that cases of cheating, murder and abetment of suicide be filed against the government for the loss of farmers’ lives, Nawle added.