Farm loan waiver inadequate: Pawar

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Jun 2017 09:04:51



STATING the farm loan waiver announced by the Maharashtra Government on Saturday is ‘inadequate’, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said his party will push for expansion of the ambit of the measure to ensure inclusion of those farmers who are left out.

Pawar, however, said the NCP’s stand on the issue will be of “cooperation and coordination” with the Government.

The Devendra Fadnavis government unveiled a mega Rs 34,020 crore farm loan waiver scheme that will see debt of up to Rs 1.5 lakh per farmer being written off. Addressing a press conference here, Pawar said the NCP is of the view that the loan write-off is the ‘first and crucial step’ in the right direction to provide the relief to farmers.

“The (loan waiver) decision of the Government does not fulfil all the demands of farmers, and some organisations have protested against this loan waiver. However, I am of the opinion this is the first step in the right direction as the Government has taken up the financial responsibility (for the write-off).

“The measure taken by the Government is not sufficient. However, we think that farmers will get relief and we are not
ready to come to the conclusion that this decision is not wise,” the former Union Agriculture Minister said.

The loan waiver scheme, being touted as the ‘biggest ever’ such measure by any State in the country, is expected to make 40 lakh farmers ‘debt-free’ and will provide relief to 49 lakh others.
Pawar said though the NCP was not entirely satisfied with the loan waiver, the party’s stand will be of co-operation and co-ordination with the Government.

In the coming days, the NCP will push for the farm loan
waiver for the remaining farmers, he said.
“I met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on this issue on Friday and discussed various aspects of the farm loan waiver scheme. During the meeting, we pushed for several demands and the Government has shown a positive approach.

“We had pushed for a demand that farmers having a loan outstanding of over Rs 1.5 lakh should get their loans waived up to Rs 1.5 lakh and the Government has agreed,” he said.

The NCP chief said he had also asked the Government to allow farmers to pay their unpaid debt in instalments.