Why farmers began their strike, why they called it off: 5 things about the Maharashtra agitation
Mumbai city news: If the state were to waive the loans of every farmer in Maharashtra, it would cost the exchequer Rs1.34 lakh croreUpdated: Jul 04, 2017, 01:34 IST
1. Farmers in Maharashtra are distressed over the falling prices of their produce. They have been facing drought and acute water shortage over the past few years and so want the state to waive their loans. They also want the government to ensure that they do not suffer losses owing to the falling prices of agricultural products.
2. The agitation started on June 1, but a few of the farmers’ outfits called it off after talks with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday. However, a number of farmers’ organisations decided to continue their agitation. They called for a statewide bandh on Monday. Opposition parties, as well as the BJP’s ally — the Shiv Sena — support them. The Swabhimani Paksh, headed by farmers’ leader Raju Shetti, has also lent its support to the protests.
3. Fadnavis has promised to waive the loans of about 31 lakh small and marginal farmers, a plan that other farmers have criticised. These farm loan waivers will be finalised by October 31 and are expected to cost the state exchequer Rs30,000 crore. There are about 1.34 crore farmers in the state. If the state were to waive all their loans, it would cost the exchequer Rs1.34 lakh crore.
4. Fadnavis said the government can provide help to only farmers who are not included in the institutional credit system and are not getting fresh loans owing to their unpaid ones. He also promised incentives for farmers who repay their installments regularly.
5. The BJP-led state government has blamed Opposition parties for instigating farmers to gain political mileage. Fadnavis said the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party have lost the confidence of the people and are using this agitation to settle political scores. He added that these parties don’t want farmers’ issues to be resolved, but are looking forward to the situation deteriorating.