Finance Minister P Chidambaram might just offer a ray of hope to Vidarbha's cash-starved farmers. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hinted, while speaking in Ahmednagar on Friday, that major relief could be expected in the ensuing Budget on the issue of farmers' loans.
"We are aware of the difficulties being faced by the farmers. The Finance minster will soon take a decision on the issue," Singh said. Singh also assured that farmers will get some concession in the near future.
The issue was raised by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh at a function in which Singh released postal stamp and the bust of eminent economist late Dhnanjayrao Gadgil, known to be the pioneer of cooperative movement in the country.
Deshmukh admitted that it was not proper for a progressive state like Maharashtra to witness so many suicides by farmers. "Farmers are looking at you with big expectations so free them from these loans," Deshmukh demanded.
Singh, during his speech, lauded the role of the cooperative movement in Maharashtra and also late Dr Dhnanjayrao Gadgil and Vitthalrao Vikhe-Patil, who set up the first cooperative sugar factory in Maharashtra.