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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

2 million farmers in MP asked to clear farm loans to get new loan

About 2 million farmers in Madhya Pradesh have been asked by the government to repay their pending farm loans to get new tranche of credit from banks, as the government is yet to start its second phase of agriculture debt waiver scheme

bhopal Updated: Aug 12, 2019 20:48 IST
Ranjan
Ranjan
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
(HT File photo)
         

About 2 million farmers in Madhya Pradesh have been asked by the government to repay their pending farm loans to get new tranche of credit from banks, as the government is yet to start its second phase of agriculture debt waiver scheme, the agriculture department officials and farmers association functionaries said.

Agriculture minister Sachin Yadav said the farmers have been told to repay their loans to be able to get the fresh loans for kharif (winter) crops. “Their loans as promised by the state government will be waived in the next phases of loan waiver,” he said.

The minister, however, said there was no clarity on number of farmers, who will have to pay their outstanding farm loan waiver, as the government was still scrutinising the claims for waiver. “Only after the scrutiny the exact number of farmers to be eligible for the next phases of farm loan waiver can be told,” he said.

In the first phase, the agriculture department officials said, loans of about 2 million farmers were waived before March 2019, when the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls came into force. In the first phase, outstanding farm loans up to Rs 50,000 and NPA were waived.

In the second phase, the officials said, the outstanding amount between Rs 50,001 and Rs one lakh would be waived. However, the government has not given any date from which the second phase would be implemented. The remaining farmers, say the department officials, who have outstanding loans in MP now, would be around 2 million.

Chief minister Kamal Nath in December 2018 had announced that as many as 5.5 million farmers would benefit under the Jai Kisan Rin Maafi Yojna, ending the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 15 year rule. By making the announcement, he was implementing Congress’ poll promise of waiving farm loans up to Rs two lakh for all farmers in Madhya Pradesh.

Anil Yadav, state general secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union, said, “In absence of any clarity from the state government, lakhs of farmers, who have not repaid their farm loans, are yet to get fresh loans. This is despite the fact that the state government has earmarked Rs 8,000 crore in its annual budget for waiving farm loans.”

Maan Singh, a resident of village Bijaura in Rajgarh district, is among several other farmers in the state, who are waiting for their outstanding farm loans to be waived, to get a fresh loan.

“I got an acknowledgement receipt from the government on my (farm loan waiver) application in January this year. My loan stands at about Rs 65000. Two lists containing names of farmers have come to my village but nobody is telling as to when my loan will be waived,” he said.

Agriculture minister reassured the farmers saying that the government was committed to fulfilling its farm loan waiver promise.

“The second phase will be announced the moment the exercise of scrutiny (of the application forms for loan waiver particularly the pink forms) is complete. Till then, the farmers can transact with the nationalised and cooperative banks on their own,” he said.

State BJP vice-president, Vijesh Lunawat, said, “The farmers have been cheated by the Congress government. The then Congress president Rahul Gandhi had promised that loans of farmers would be waived within 10 days otherwise the CM will be changed. The Congress government has now completed about 8 months in power. The Congressmen should count on their own how many chief ministers would have been replaced by now.”

First Published: Aug 12, 2019 20:48 IST

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