‘Loan waiver should be based on equitable formula’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 15 Jun 2017 10:09:08


Staff Reporter,

The loan waiver announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has definitely brought smiles on the farmers’ faces but the farmers from Vidarbha are worried that the injustice meted out in 2008 should not be repeated. The farmers fear were put before the media persons by Nitin Ronghe, Convenor of Mahavidarbha Janjagran while addressing the press conference at Tilak Patrakar Bhavan on Monday. Famous Economist, Dr Shirnivas Khandewale and Advocate Madhukarrao Kimmatkar, also an active memeber of Vidarbha Vikas Mandal, also expressed their views.

Recalling the last loan waiver announced at National level in 2008, Kimmatkar informed that the central government had relief debt of Rs 71,680 cr. Out of which, Maharashtra got relief from 13.8% of loan, which is Rs 9,896 cr. Out of Rs 9,896 cr, rest of Maharashtra got relaxation of Rs 5,505 cr (55.69%), Marathwada got loan waiver of Rs 2,406 cr (24.31%) while Vidarbha got relaxation of only Rs 1,985 cr, which is mere 20%.

“Unlike 2008 loan waiver, this time too, loan waiver announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is more beneficial to Western Maharashtra farmers. It should be based on equitable formula and not on the basis of marginal farmers,” said Ronghe. Its just a day ago, CM Fadnavis announced loan waiver to marginal farmers to end the farmers’ strike. Fadnavis ordered to form a committee to decided the criteria of debt relief.

In 2008, only 1.23 lakh farmers of Vidarbha were benefited while 2.21 lakh farmers from rest of Maharashtra which included 1.95 lakh farmers from Western Maharashtra. During the period, each farmer from Western Maharashtra got relief of Rs 27,310, While Rs 20,521 for an individual farmer from Marathwada and least Rs 16,117 to per farmer from Vidarbha.

“It should not be ignored that the access to irrigation, roads to farms, agricultural pump and
market rates of the cultivated products of Western Maharashtra is quite better than of Vidarbha. Despite, the 2008 loan waiver was beneficial to Western Maharashtra farmers than of Vidarbha farmers. If a farmer in Vidarbha is having 10 acres of agriculture land, he seeks more crop loan because of the infertile land. The government should take into consideration such type of cases,” said Khandewale.

Today, Maharashtra government has total debt of Rs 4. 13 crore. Ronghe said that if the 2008 pattern is to be followed, it is estimated that Rest of Maharashtra farmers will get relaxation of Rs 20,000 crore, 12, 000 crore to Marathwada farmers and only Rs 8 core to Vidarbha farmers.

Ronghe said that the loan waiver should be made on the basis of cropped area of all three regions, irrigation potentional and the number of maximum suicides reported in all three regions- Rest of Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Western Maharashtra. He informed that urbanisation at Western Maharashtra is more than of rural people whereas in Vidarbha its opposite. “The government should consider all the factors and should fairly take the decision of loan waiver for Vidarbha farmers,” said Ronghe.