MUMBAI: The State government is planning to roll out old schemes to divert the funds towards farm loan waiver so that they can raise funds of about Rs 35,800 crore for the waiver.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with the agricultural, revenue, co-operative and finance departments to discuss the loan waiver for the farmers in the State. Thackeray has reviewed all the schemes from these departments and also inquired about the total funds required for 100 per cent loan waiver to farmers during the meeting.
If the government plans to help all the farmers affected due to drought and excessive rains in the State, there is a need of Rs 35,800 crore.
Excessive rainfall in the State has damaged crops on 92 hectares of land. If the government decides to help the farmers with Rs 25,000 per hectare, there is a need of Rs 30,000 crore funds.
While taking the review of the farm loan waiver schemes, the officials from all the departments informed the Chief Minister that there are many schemes, which are not functional or could not reach the common farmers. These schemes can be rolled out and the funds allocated for these schemes can be shifted for farm loan waiver.
According to officials from the Finance Department, the State government can borrow more loans, as the interest rates have gone down. The government had given loans with high interest rates that are 9 per cent to 12 per cent. The government has a liability of Rs 28,000 crore against the loans.
However, the loan is now available at a rate of 7 per cent. If the government restructures the loan, they can raise a huge amount without taking help from the Central government.
Another issue discussed in the meeting was that the farmers have paid a huge premium to the insurance companies. If the government asks them for compensation against the premium paid, there would be more funds for the farm loan waiver.
The government had announced loan waiver to 1 crore 3 thousand account holding farmers having various types of agricultural loans.
Around 24.91 lakh farmers needed full loan waiver and the amount was Rs 13,721 crore, 4.42 lakh farmers required one-time settlement and the funds made available for it was Rs 27.42 crore. Whereas, there are 14.90 lakh farmers, who need a loan as an incentive for farming and Rs 2.28 crore has already been disbursed to their account.
Out of the loan waiver, only Rs 6,000 crore amount is yet to be disbursed.