Strike ends after Maharashtra CM says he will waive loans of small, marginal farmers
Two days after farmers across Maharashtra went on strike, stifling the supply of milk and vegetables, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ intervention put an end to it. Fadnavis assured farmers of a law that would make buying agricultural products below the minimum price fixed by the government an offence.
Fadnavis met farmers’ representatives at his official residence at 3am on Saturday. He promised to waive the loans of small and marginal farmers by October 31. He also assured farmers of a mechanism to protect them against the falling prices of agricultural commodities. A release issued by the CM’s office said a state commission to regulate agricultural pricing would be formed.
The government said that by June 20, the prices of milk, which cooperative dairies buy from farmers, would increase. This means Mumbaiites may have to pay a little more for the commodity.
The strike, which began on Thursday, had affected the supply of essential commodities to Mumbai and Pune. The prices of milk and vegetables rose on Friday owing to short supply. The situation was expected to deteriorate this weekend, however, sources said the supply would normalise in a day or two.