Maharashtra government makes provision of Rs20,000 crore for loan waiver in supplementary budget
When the state government has all details of the farmers and their loan accounts, why is it making them fill forms to get the benefit , they asked.mumbai Updated: Jul 25, 2017 09:52 IST
The state government on Monday took the first step towards fund allocation for the farm loan waiver by tabling supplementary demands in the state assembly with a budgetary allocation of Rs20,000 crore for it.
Though decks have been cleared for the funding so that banks can clear outstanding loans of farmers, the actual disbursement to farmers is unlikely for at least another two months.
A month ago, chief minister Devenda Fadnavis had announced Rs34,022 crore as farm loan waiver for nearly 89 lakh farmers. Nearly Rs18,000 crore of the budgeted amount has been allocated by the co-operation department. This includes Rs17,979 crore for subsidies, Rs3 crore for advertisement and publicity and Rs15 crore for office expenses. Rs1,000 crore each has been allocated to two different schemes for the tribal development and the social justice departments.
The total supplementary budget moved in the assembly is to the tune of Rs33, 533 crore, the highest in the recent past, thanks to the loan waiver. The budget for 2017-18, tabled just four months back, was to the tune of Rs 2.83 lakh crore. In 2016-17 the government raised about Rs 33,000crore through three supplementary demands over the year.
According to the officials from the cooperation department, the allocation will help the state government enable the cooperative as well as nationalised banks to clear off the outstanding loans of distressed farmers. The state government has decided to ask the banks to submit the amounts overdue. “On receiving the requisition from the banks, an amount will be released to them to clear the outstanding loans that have turned into non performing assets. This will entitle farmers to get fresh loans,” said an official from the cooperation department.
In a bid to provide for the farm loan waiver, the state has initiated a cut of 30% to its development plan. The government expects the loan-disbursing process to go on till early next year and it will have enough time to make arrangements for the remaining amount. “We expect Rs10,000 crore to be spent this year and the remaining in the next year. The government has already urged the Centre to pull up its loan raising capacity to help gather the remaining amount for the waiver and development work,” said the official.
The official, however, added that the actual disbursement to the accounts of farmers will take at least two more months. “We have started asking for the information from farmers interested in the waiver. Collecting the data will take at least a month, followed by verification with the one provided by the banks. Until this is done, there will be no disbursement as we do not want the benefits to go into wrong hands. This means the amount will not be credited at least till the end of September,” he added.