Loan waiver scheme: U.P. to reopen abruptly closed scheme to accommodate remaining farmers
The Yogi Adityanath government is set to reopen the loan debt redemption scheme with the sole purpose of accommodating those farmers who could not benefit from the scheme earlier, despite being eligible
The Yogi Adityanath government is set to reopen the loan debt redemption scheme with the sole purpose of accommodating those farmers who could not benefit from the scheme earlier, despite being eligible.
People aware of the development said that there are around 5,000 small and marginal farmers whose crop loans were not written off, despite them being eligible, before the scheme was abruptly closed in September 2019.
According to them, many of the farmers have even moved the high court, seeking directions to the government to waive off their loans as per the terms and conditions of the debt-redemption scheme announced in March 2017.
At a meeting presided over by chief secretary Durga Shanker Mishra two weeks ago, it was decided that the government would make provisions for the money in the supplementary budget in September-October to write off the loans of all the remaining farmers.
It was also decided to settle the claims of farmers who had approached the courts before the supplementary budget as the cases were listed for hearing in July and August.
“We have already informed the high court that the government will write off debts of all the eligible farmers whose petitions are pending in the court and we are going to do it shortly,” a senior official said.
“The government will waive off crop loans of all the remaining farmers after making allocation in the supplementary budget in the months to come,” he added.
Under the debt-redemption scheme, that the Yogi Adityanath government announced immediately after coming to power in March 2017, loans up to ₹one lakh of individual small and marginal farmers whose crop loans were disbursed by lending institutions on or before March 31, 2016, were considered for waiver.
The banks had initially given a list of around 66 lakh farmers but the number later came down to around 45 lakh after a scrutiny to identify farmers eligible for the scheme as per the guidelines.
The government suddenly announced the closure of the scheme in September 2019, having waived crop loans of around ₹25,000 crore of around 45 lakh marginal and small farmers.
“While the government shut the scheme without any advance notice, thousands of complaints or claims remained unsettled, when the scheme was closed after the budget earmarked for the scheme for the year got exhausted,” an agriculture department official said.
Now, it is believed that the government may have to allocate an amount of more than ₹200 crore in the supplementary budget to settle the remaining loan waiver claims, besides writing off the debt of around ₹8 lakh against a dozen farmers who moved the high court.