The Maharashtra government on Tuesday expanded the scope of the loan waiver further, writing off loans of Rs 361 crore given to landless and tribal farmers. The loans, called “khavti karj”, were given to the farmers for non-agriculture
The decision, taken at a Cabinet meeting, will benefit 11 lakh tribals across Nandurbar, Nashik, Palghar, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Washim and Maleghat (Amravati).
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis feels existing guidelines on the loan waiver should be revised to accommodate tribal farmers and fishermen who avail “khavti karg”. Tribal farmers usually take small loans for non-agricultural activities. They are provided such loans under various government welfare schemes.
According to the tribal welfare department, the total debt of tribal, small and marginal farmers amounted to Rs 244.60 crore. The interest was Rs 116.57 crore. The total worked to Rs 361.17 crore. The loans were taken between 2009 and 2014.
Following the write-off, tribals in the state will become eligible for fresh “khavti karg” from 2018-19.
“Khavti karg” is given to tribals who are landless or have small land holdings for non-agriculture use: to cope with financial needs during the monsoon when they have no work.
The state government has made provision of Rs 940 crore for 2018-19 under the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojna.
Earlier, the Cabinet also decided to write off non-agricultural loans of Rs 24 crore given to 11,000 small farmers
and fishermen from Konkan and Kolhapur region.