Fadnavis gives `34K cr farm loan waiver… country's biggest ever
Despite Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and RBI Governor Urjit Patel's strong public statements against farm loan waivers by states, Maharashtra's BJP-led government on Saturday unveiled a Rs 34,020 crore farm loan waiver scheme, under which debt of up to Rs 1.5 lakh each will be written off, making 40 lakh farmers debt-free and providing relief to 49 lakh others. Making the announcement here, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said this was the "biggest" loan waiver scheme in the country.
He also informed that all BJP ministers and legislators would contribute a month's salary towards the loan waiver. "This Rs 34,020 crore loan waiver scheme -- 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Krushi Sanman Yojana' -- will benefit total 89 lakh farmers in the state, out of which 40 lakh cultivators will become debt-free," he told reporters here.
Fadnavis, who had been under pressure to bring in a major agrarian relief programme to help farmers hit by falling prices of produce and recurring drought, said the state cabinet approved the decision on Saturday.
"There has been a demand for loan waiver for farmers, who have been severely affected due to continuous drought since 2012. They were not able to get new loans for their crops until previous debt was paid. We have time and again assured that we will help the distressed farmers," he said.