Uphill maha waiver
The tough stand of Maharashtra farmers in the middle of June finally paid off as the government provided them with a series of assurances. The most important of these was the blanket waiver of loans to farmers owning less than five acres of land, with the option of immediately applying for a fresh loan. In a decision ratified by the Cabinet, the Fadnavis government announced a Rs.34000-crore crop loan waiver for the State's marginal farmers under the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Krushi Sanman Yojana, designed to benefit about 89 lakh farmers.
Those having outstanding loans between April 1, 2012, and June 30, 2016, would be entitled to the waiver. Loans up to Rs.1.5 lakh would be written off immediately, making some 35 lakh farmers debt-free. A one-time settlement scheme was also offered to nine lakh farmers who had debts of over Rs.1.5 lakh. They would be eligible for a waiver of 25 per cent of the outstanding amount or Rs.1.5 lakh, whichever was less.
The scheme would benefit those farmers who had sought to restructure their existing loans but still had arrears as of June 30, 2016. Farmers who had been repaying their loans regularly would be eligible for 25 per cent (of their loan component, up to a maximum of Rs.25000) credited directly to their banks as an incentive for their fiscal management. Even those making their payments in June 2017 would be eligible for this incentive.