Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said that Punjab has already announced loan waiver for farmers and the state government is still holding discussion about this issue.
Once executed, the waiver will directly provide relief to more than 22 lakh farmers reeling under debt due to their inability to pay money to the banks following a severe drought in the state.
"Steps must be taken by the government to address rising farmer suicides in the state".
A source close to a cooperative bank said short term political considerations are trumping sound economic dense.
He announced that his government would waive off crop loans of up to Rs50,000 per farmer availed till 20 June. However, some economists believe that the numbers raised by the states for farm loan waiving may not heavily impact the fiscal deficits and states can bear it. The waiver, however, will be applicable only on the only on the loans acquired from the cooperative banks, added CM.
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"Crop loans up to Rs 50,000 borrowed by 22,27,500 farmers from cooperative banks in the state would be waived off", Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told the Assembly. The state joined Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab in announcing limited farm loan relief in recent months, taking the combined costs to their exchequers to around Rs85,000 crore.
Congress on Tuesday asked the NDA government why it was running away from its responsibility of waiving off loans of the farmers across the country, and urged it not to treat farmers as "mere vote banks". The move comes as a masterstroke by the Congress government to attack the BJP at the centre which has refused to waive off loans.
"The government has laid down several conditions like setting up a cut-off date and waiving only loans up to one lakh rupees". Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa said the waiver decision wasn't a a big surprise since he was aware that the Congress was mulling early polls.
Farmers with four wheelers, who until now were not eligible for the loan advance, have also been made eligible for the scheme. In case of loans taken from nationalized and grameen banks, Siddaramaiah said that the center will have to come to the rescue of such farmers.