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As Vasundhara Raje waives of crop loans, big farmers not so happy

According to the state cooperative department, the loan waiver is up to Rs 50,000 and the amount disbursed depends on the land holding

jaipur Updated: Jun 17, 2018 22:39 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Farm loan,Crop loan,Farm loan waiver
Vasundhara Raje had announced the loan waiver while presenting the budget in February. (HT FILE)

When, on May 3, chief minister Vasundhara Raje handed over the first of the thousands of the loan waiver certificates to a farmer, she was quick to point out that “in the history of Rajasthan,” hers was first government that waived off crop loans of up to Rs 50,000.

She claimed that the previous two Congress-led UPA governments at Centre had waived off farm loans up to Rs 10,000 only. Addressing the public rally in Banswara, she, however, didn’t reiterate the fact that farmers with bigger land holdings wouldn’t be benefitting much under the scheme.

Farmers are now feeling cheated.

Andaram Jakhar, a resident of Sanawada village in Barmer district was very hopeful when Raje government announced a one-time loan waiver in this year’s budget. But after receiving his loan waiver certificate, Jakhar felt cheated when he received meagre amount of Rs 5,000 under the scheme.

According to the state cooperative department, the loan waiver is up to Rs 50,000 and the amount disbursed depends on the land holding.

Jakhar, who is holding 17 hectare land and having loan of Rs 70,000, was expecting that Rs 50,000 would be waived off and he would have to pay only Rs 20,000. But he was shocked when he received Rs 5,000 only.

Apart from Jakhar, some other farmers in Barmer had the same reaction. Koshla Ram, a resident of Meghwalon Ka Tala holding 28.74 hectare land had taken crop loan worth Rs 41,840. After the loan waiver camp organized at Sanawada village in Barmer, only Rs 3,479 was waived off from Koshla Ram’s total loan amount.

Similarly, Hiraram of Jakharo Ki Dhani, who is holding 26.5 hectare land and having loan worth Rs 53,000 had received Rs 3,774. Bhaira Ram of Ande ka Tala, who is holding 27 hectare land and having loan worth Rs 41840, had received Rs 3704 only.

Jakhar said that he was feeling cheated. He said that government had announced loan waiver of Rs 50,000 but he received benefit of only Rs 5,000. He said that government was discriminating on the basis of land holding.

However, many other farmers are satisfied with the loan waiver.

In Bharatpur district, the farmers who got the loan waiver certificates so far are satisfied. Jal Singh Gurjar from village Rasiya said he had taken loan of Rs 40,000 some years ago but was unable to pay back the loan amount. “The state government provided us relief and my entire loan was waived off,” he said.

Anita Sharma from village Rasiya said her husband Hari Shankar Sharma got loan waiver of Rs 50,000 and they were satisfied after receiving a certificate of loan waiver by the minister.

In Alwar district, managing director of Alwar Central Cooperative Bank Madan Gujar said that average loan disbursement was Rs 40,000.

Ramesh Saini of Satana village said that his loan of Rs 16,000 was waived off and now he was happy. Pramod of Zamalpur village said that he also got loan waver certificate of Rs 23,000. Ganpat Lal of Mundia village said that he had a loan of Rs 75,000 and 50,000 had been waived off.

In border districts of Barmer and Jaisalmer, an average farmer holds 30 to 60 bigha (5 to 10 hectare) land, though the land fertility is poor.

According to official data, 1,80,975 farmers in Jaipur district will get the benefit of loan waiver and a total amount of Rs 345.94 crore will be disbursed. Out of 180,975 about 30% farmers are small and marginal farmers who will get the full benefit of loan waiver while the rest will get partial benefit.

In Barmer a total of 211,390 farmers will get benefit of loan waiver scheme, out of which 62,192 are small and marginal farmers. So, as per government’s announcement only 62,192 farmers in Barmer will get full benefit of loan waiver scheme, while rest will get it according to their land size.

Reacting to the issue, Sudhhodhan Ujjawal, managing director at Barmer Central Cooperative Bank said that they were just following government’s direction. He said that they have waived off loans of Rs 50,000 of the farmers who come under the scheme’s coverage, which is two hectares. Rest of the farmers are getting relief according to their land size as per government directions.

State cooperative minister Ajay Singh Kilak said that the camps will continue till July 15 and loans worth a total of Rs 8,414 crore of more than 29 lakh farmers would be waived off. He said the amount of the loan waiver was as per the budget announcement.

The Opposition Congress had earlier termed the partial loan waiver announcement as “betrayal with farmers” and had demanded complete waiver.

Earlier, when it was struggling to arrange the funds needed for the loan waiver, the Raje government had decided to keep several categories of farmers out of the purview of the waiver. Among those kept out of the purview of the crop loan waiver are MPs, MLAs, ministers, central and state government employees, retired government employees and chairpersons of local civic bodies.

(With inputs from Mukesh Mathrani in Barmer, Suresh Fouzdar in Bharatpur and Devender Bharadwaj in Alwar).

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 22:39 IST