Maharashtra increases cut-off for loan waiver; 10 lakh farmers to benefit

On June 24, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced the farm loan waiver on the loans taken between April 1, 2012, and June 30, 2016. With the recent changes done in the schemes, the Chief Minister has issued another statement on Wednesday, saying that now the loans taken from 2009 till 2016, will be waived off.

According to the previous announcements, around 89 lakh farmers were benefiting from the scheme and it was costing the BJP-Led Maharashtra government around Rs 34,022 crore. Though the figures are not declared by the government yet after the latest announcements, around 10 lakh more farmers will be relieved and the cost to the government is also likely to rise up to approximately Rs 4,000 crore.

A few other changes have also been made regarding the loan waiver scheme, the farmers who are opting for a one-time settlement scheme will get adequate time for settlement. Loans of farmers with the amount of Rs 1.5 lakh will be completely waived off and those with amount more than 1.5 lakh, the state will confirm or settle with the one-time settlement scheme.

The Chief Minister said that, though the loan waiver was not the right and permanent solution for the prevailing situation, looking at the prevailing conditions, this decision was also very necessary. He said that to stop the farmers from going to the local vendors and getting themselves trapped in debts and ultimately resulting in losing their lands, the government needs to help the farmers in this critical situation and gain their trust. He also added that the loan waiver is not the permanent solution and that the government will think of measures so that situations like does not arise again.

Fadnavis further said that “fortunately in Maharashtra, unlike other states, we have kept enough fiscal space for loan waivers and we will use it. A bigger part we will deposit this year itself. But we will need two years to settle this account and we will talk to banks like SBI and others for schemes that can help us.”