Committee sets conditions for farmers’ loan waiver

ST CORRESPONDENT
Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Farmers will get Rs 10,000 advance, against the loan from the district and nationalised banks for the Kharif season as they can start sowing for the season. The State govt will guarantee for this financial help to the banks.

MUMBAI: If any members of the farmers’ families are paying income tax and have a four-wheeler, then the family will not be eligible for the farm loan waiver. The farmers have to submit an affidavit admitting that they are actual farmers and fulfill the condition for loan waiver set by the joint committee of farmers and government officials. 

Meanwhile, the farmers will get Rs 10,000 advance, against the loan from the district and nationalised banks for the Kharif season as they can start sowing for the season. 

The government has formed a committee for loan waiver for the farmers. The committee is going to set a condition, only genuine farmers will get the benefit of the loan waiver. Revenue minister and chief of the committee Chandrakant Patil said that the government’s efforts are to give the benefit to genuine farmers. “There will be a provision of strict conditions to ensure that nothing wrong should happen in this process. In addition, an affidavit will also be taken from farmers who will avail the waiver, stating they fulfil the conditions,” he said.

The farmers’ representatives submitted a list of names to Patil. These people will be the members of the committee and will participate in the discussions with the government.

According to the revenue department, there are a total of 1.37 crore farmers in the State, out of which around 31 lakh farmers are defaulters and have not repaid the loan. The loans of those holding less land (land less than five acres) have been waived off, while certain conditions will be applied to other farmers. These conditions include, no loan waiver to those whose families pay Income Tax, have four-wheelers, put farm loans in fixed deposits for 11 months and whose families are not dependent on farming. 

The government has appealed to the farmers that the farmers, who can pay their loans should voluntarily come forward and reject the waiver. After the government’s appeal, former NCP MLA Sahebrao Patil from Amalner and MLA from Daund Rahul Kul have already declared that they will not avail of the waiver.

The government is also holding talks with opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders to seek their feedback to go ahead with the decision. 

On Monday, Patil held discussions with NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and Congress’ Maharashtra Unit Chief Ashok Chavan. “We want to involve opposition in this historic decision and also seek their ideas to make this scheme better,” he said.

Co- operative Minister Subhash Desai said that the government also asked all district central co-operative banks and nationalised banks to provide financial help of Rs 10,000 to defaulting farmers to ensure that they begin sowing for the Kharif season. The State government will guarantee for this financial help to the banks.

“Nationalised banks have also been asked to help the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCB), which are facing problems after demonetisation. The nationalised banks have also been asked to adopt 13 sick DCCBs, which are worst hit and have no liquidity. The government also demanded that the Reserve Bank should provide new currency notes to these banks and also pay them interest for the delay,” said Deshmukh.

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