The Maharashtra government has announced farmers’ loan waiver in the state Assembly on Saturday, December 21. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that all farmers will get benefit of this scheme which seeks to waive off the loans upto Rs 2 lakh. "Without any condition our government will waive off the loan of farmers up to Rs 2 lakh. The scheme will be called Mahatma Phule Shetkari Karjamukti Yojana," he said.
The demand of absolute loan waiver for farmers was one of the central issues during the state Assembly elections. The previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had announced a loan waiver scheme worth of Rs 34,044 crore. But multiple issues including problems in implementation, a number of controversial conditions and online procedure have demoralised the farmers.
"The implementation of the scheme will start from March 1. We need two months for officers to prepare it for implementation. The money will be directly deposited in farmers’ accounts. The entire procedure will be transparent and strictly monitored," Thackeray said while announcing the loan waiver scheme.
Also read: Maharashtra Govt Set to Waive up to Rs 2 Lakh Farmer Loans
The loans from March 1, 2015 to September 30, 2019, will be waived off. The state government is now collecting information about the exact amount of loans. Sources said that the state is expected to spend at least Rs 18,000 crore on this scheme.
Not only that, the farmers who have repaid the loans on time will also get benefits. "Our government is making another independent scheme. It is for those who regularly paid installations. This scheme will be declared in a fortnight," said Thackeray.
Meanwhile, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) as well as Opposition has slammed the state government for not sticking to its promise of complete loan waiver. "They (Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi) had proposed the clearing of all debts on 7/12 paper (land document containing important details) of farmers. But by putting a condition of Rs 2 lakh, they have betrayed the farmers. They must keep their word and clear all the debt," said Dr Ajit Nawale of AIKS.
Opposition leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis said, "This is backstabbing the farmers. You are going back on your promise to farmers." The Opposition also staged a walk out from the house.