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Maharashtra farmer leaders reject ‘incomplete’ loan waiver scheme

Farmers are calling for a blanket loan waiver and have asked 50% minimum support price for crops.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2017 18:24 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Maharashtra loan waiver,Loan waiver,Farmer protests
Activists protest for farmer loan waivers at Central building in Pune. (HT File  Photo)

Maharashtra farmers’ outfits rejected on Sunday the Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver announced by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis last week, terming it ‘incomplete’.

The farmer leaders want the state government to fulfill their demands by July 26 after which they’ll begin their protest.

Besides calling for a blanket loan waiver, the outfits have opposed the cut-off date of June 30, 2016 for the relief. They have also stressed implementing recommendation of Swaminathan Commission that has suggested 50% minimum support price (MSP) for crops over and above input cost.

The cut-off date for waiving off loans means farmers who have taken loans after June 30, 2016 will not be held eligible for loan waiver benefit.

The committee, which held a meeting here on Sunday, also decided to start Sangharsh Yatra (struggle march) from July 9 to July 23 to create awareness against the injustice to the farmers.

Raghunath Dada Patil, veteran farmers’ leader, said they have rejected the government’s waiver decision as it will cover only 89 lakh farmers. “We have been demanding a blanket waiver for the farmers from the beginning and also want the cut-off date to be extended till this year but government decided not to accept our demands. They have not kept the assurance of blanket loan waiver,” Patil said after the meeting. He further said the government did not utter a word on implementing recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report.

The reaction of political parties in the state was also cautious. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said his party would cooperate with the Fadnavis government for now though it was not completely satisfied with the waiver’s decision. BJP ally, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, was more vocal about his unhappiness with the government’s waiver saying he sided with the farmers.

First Published: Jun 26, 2017 00:01 IST