Farmers who took loan post 2008 to be included in loan waiver: Fadnavis

Mumbai : Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Wednesday that the state government would expand the ambit of the loan waiver to include farmers who had taken loans after 2008.

Earlier, the loan waiver scheme, titled the ‘Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Sanman Yojana’, covered only those farmers who have the loan outstanding between April 1, 2012 and June 30, 2016.

Fadnavis made this announcement during his fortnightly programme ‘Mi Mukhyamantri Boltoy’.

BJP legislators Anil Bonde, Ashish Deshmukh, Sanjay Kute and Prashant Bamb called on the chief minister earlier in the day and demanded that farmers who have taken agriculture loans after March 1, 2008 and before May 31, 2012 be given benefit of the loan waiver scheme announced last month.

The erstwhile Congress-led UPA government under Manmohan Singh had announced an agriculture loan waiver and a debt relief scheme of Rs 71,000 crore for the country in 2008. That scheme covered cultivators who had an overdue of agriculture loans up to February 29, 2008.

“Fadnavis agreed to the demand raised by the BJP legislators and announced to include those farmers in his loan waiver scheme,” stated a release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office.

The CM also extended the date to repay overdue of loans taken by farmers in the year 2016-17 and who are regular payees from earlier June 30, 2017 to July 31, 2017, the statement said.

In the One Time Settlement scheme, farmers can repay outstanding loan in four instalments. Once they repay three instalments, the government will give the fourth instalment of Rs 1.5 lakh as the loan waiver, he said. Later, while replying to queries of reporters on the inclusion of farmers from Mumbai and its suburbs in the loan waiver scheme, Fadnavis said he will speak at an “appropriate time”.

“The figures have been provided by the State Level Banking Committee and they will be rechecked before giving waiver benefit,” he said.

The Fadnavis government last month announced a “historic” loan waiver of Rs 34,022 crore for farmers and subsequently laid down the eligibility criteria for availing it.