Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to waive off crop loans of up to Rs 1 lakh of small and marginal farmers in the state is a “partial relief” but “a step in the right direction”.
About 21 million farmers will benefit from the decision that was taken during the first sitting of chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The cabinet also decided to write off Rs 5,630 crore in non-performing assets (NPAs) of 700,000 farmers. The twin waivers would together cost the government Rs 36,359 crore.
“@INCIndia has always supported loan waivers for farmers in distress (sic),” Gandhi said in a series of tweets.
“I’m happy BJP has finally been forced to see reason.But let’s not play politics with our farmers who are suffering across the country. The Central Govt must have a national response to the widespread distress & not discriminate amongst states (sic),” he added.
The BJP had promised loan waiver to farmers, who were reeling from losses after unfavourable weather hit their crops, in its poll manifesto.
A farmers’ union welcomed the move saying it was the first step towards easing out a major crisis faced by farmers.
But Samajwadi Party president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whose party allied with the Congress in the February-March assembly elections, was not impressed saying a promise of a complete loan waiver was made to the farmers.
“Millions of farmers were feeling cheated with the ceiling of Rs 1 lakh,” he said.