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BJP reply: Waives Assam farm loans, vows to do so in Odisha

BJP reply: Waives Assam farm loans, vows to do so in Odisha
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Guwahati/ Bhubaneswar/ Gandhinagar: The BJP government in Assam has approved Rs 600 crore farm loan waiver which it said will benefit around 8 lakh farmers of the state, a move that comes in the backdrop of debt woes of farmers becoming a major issue in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections. Assam is the third state to waive farm loans in the last few days

According to the Assam government scheme, it will write off 25 per cent loan of farmers up to a maximum of Rs 25,000 of all farm debts, state government spokesperson and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said. The waiver will be for all the loans taken through Kisan Credit Card (KCC) and from PSU banks, he said.

The government has also sanctioned an interest relief scheme which will enable around 19 lakh farmers to take loans at zero interest from the next financial year, he said.

The BJP's Odisha unit too on Tuesday promised to waive farm loans in the state if the party comes to power in the 2019 Assembly elections. The announcement was made by BJP state president Basant Panda at a press conference here. Assembly elections in Odisha are due in 2019 along with the Lok Sabha elections.

"We will waive farm loans, if BJP comes to power in the state in the 2019 Assembly elections," Panda told reporters, adding that the party will also make provision of interest free loans for the farmers in Odisha.

According to The Indian Express website, the BJP-led Gujarat government announced on Tuesday that it would write off electricity bills of connection holders in rural areas to the tune of Rs 650 crore. Making the announcement, Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said 6.22 lakh people would benefit from the move.

"Total 6.22 lakh connection holders in rural areas across the state will be benefited with this waiver to the tune of Rs 650 crore pending electricity bills," NDTV quoted Patel as saying. A circular issued by the energy department said the waiver would apply to domestic, agricultural and commercial connections across the state's rural zone.

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