Fulfilling a poll promise, the ruling Samajwadi Party gifted Uttar Pradesh farmers a loan waiver of around Rs. 1,650 crore, making the announcement on party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's 74th birthday on Thursday.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the SP chief's son, waived loans of up to Rs. 50,000 taken from the Uttar Pradesh cooperative rural development bank. The decision will benefit 7.2 lakh farmers.
"The farmers who have paid 10% of the loan amount till March, 31, 2012, will benefit from the scheme. The remaining loan and interest will be waived," the CM said at a press meet.
Acting on another poll promise, he abolished the auctioning of land farmers had mortgaged for loans.
The CM said a provision of Rs. 500 crore had been made in the budget and an additional Rs. 500 crore would be made available in the supplementary budget to fund the waiver.