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Maha: Supplementary demand of Rs 20,000 cr for loan waiver

The BJP-led Maharashtra government on Monday tabled supplementary demands of Rs 33,533 crore, its biggest so far, with the lion's share –over Rs 20,000 crore –going for the farm loan waiver scheme announced last month.
Supplementary statement of expenditure for 2017-18 was tabled on the first day of the monsoon session of the state legislature on Monday.
The demand for the Cooperation Department said that it needed Rs 19,577 crore for the loan waiver scheme.
The Tribal Development Department said it needed Rs 1,000 crore to provide loan waiver for farmers belonging to the Scheduled Tribes.
Thus, the total supplementary demand for the loan waiver was over Rs 20,000 crore, while the government had earlier said that the scheme will cost Rs 34,022 crore.
This led to the opposition asking, in the Assembly, how the government would provide for the shortfall of Rs 14,000 crore.
"What about the remaining Rs 14,000 crore? Had the government fooled the farmers earlier?" asked the state NCP chief Sunil Tatkare.
The Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, wanted to know why the government was asking the farmers to fill up forms. "The government has complete information about farmers' loans. Why do the farmers have to fill even a single form?" he asked.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "The government is ready to discuss loan waiver with the opposition. Opposition leaders should not forget that the government has asked for Rs 20,000 crore which we propose to use for the loan waiver scheme."
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