Maharashtra government expands scope of loan waiver, 3-4lakh more farmers to benefit
Mumbai city news: The government countered Opposition criticism, saying the previous Congress-NCP dispensation too waived loans of Mumbai farmers.mumbai Updated: Jul 11, 2017 12:34 IST
Following criticism by farmers’ outfits and the Opposition over eligibility criteria for the recently-announced loan waiver, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government on Wednesday extended the scope of the package.
Now, the cut-off date to waive loans has been fixed to April 2009. Earlier, the government announced that farmers who took loans between April 2012 and June 30, 2016 could avail of the loan waiver.
According to one estimate, at least 3 to 4 lakh more farmers are likely to be added in the list of beneficiaries.
The government also countered the Opposition attack over 813 beneficiaries from Mumbai. A state official pointed out that the previous Congress-NCP government had waived loans worth Rs2.90 crore of 270 farmers from Mumbai in 2008. In 2009 too, the combine waived Rs287 crore loaned to farmers from Mumbai, said the official.
The government has clarified that many farmers who applied for credit before 2012 had remained out of the loan waiver net.
The Devendra Fadnavis-led government has also decided to extend the deadline of repayment of farm loans under the one-time settlement scheme. It said it would contribute up to Rs1.50 lakh in the repayment of the loans if the outstanding balance was more than Rs1.50 lakh.
The farmers who repay loans regularly are entitled for the incentives by July 31.
The announcement to enlarge the scope of the waiver were came after BJP legislators Anil Bonde, Ashish Deshmukh and Sanjay Kute met Fadnavis and demanded.
They also demanded to break the remaining amount of the loan into four instalments under the one-time settlement scheme.
Congress, other opposition parties and farmers outfits had alleged that a big chunk of the farmers would not benefit from loan waiver.
Farmers organisations had criticised that the government had cheated them after promising a blanket loan waiver.
The Congress claimed that only 15 lakh farmers would get the benefit.