Day 2 of farmers’ strike in Maharashtra: Consumers suffer, traders make profits | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Day 2 of farmers’ strike in Maharashtra: Consumers suffer, traders make profits

Mumbai city news: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state can afford to waive the loans of 31 lakh farmers

mumbai Updated: Jun 02, 2017 11:34 IST
The farmers began their strike on Thursday.
The farmers began their strike on Thursday.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

The farmers’ strike in Maharashtra entered the second day on Friday, with reports of farmers blocking trucks carrying milk and vegetables.

If the strike continues, urban centres like Mumbai, Thane, Pune may face shortage of vegetables, milk and fruits.

The farmers’ main demand is loan waiver. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state can afford to waive the loans of 31 lakh farmers, who were edged out of the institutional credit system as they didn’t repay.

As Maharashtra has 1.34 crore farmers, the decision has not gone down well with others.

Fadnavis said , even in Uttar Pradesh, where the loans have been waived, only 70 lakh of the 2.5 crore farmers are getting the benefit.

During 2016-17, banks had disbursed farm loan worth Rs 40,000 crore to the state’s 13.7 million farmers. The loan disbursement has been 80% of the overall agriculture credit target which was set at Rs 51,000 crore for the fiscal.

The market yard at Pune. (Pratham Gokhale/HT)

While farmers want a loan waiver, the state government has sought time for deliberation. The strike is the farmers’ way of creating shortage of milk and vegetable supplies to putting pressure on the government to give in to their demands.

Meanwhile, traders made a killing by selling farm products at higher rates. Vegetables and fruits prices in Pune, Nashik and other cities soared by 40 %, as the supply came down by half.

Traders in Pune market yard said only 125 vehicles, including trucks, tempo and jeep reached the market on Friday morning. Usually, 1,230 vehicles come to the market daily.

“The shortage in supply of vegetables and fruits has led to a rise in prices. If the supply remains thin, prices will go up further,” said Vilas Bhujbal, wholesale trader of vegetable and fruits.

The chief minister has accused the NCP and Congress of instigating violence through the strike.