MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government continued implementing the farm loan waiver scheme by releasing the second list of beneficiaries under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Shetkari Karjmukti Yojana (MJPSKY) containing names of around 21,82,000 farmers.
State Cooperation Minister Balasaheb Patil announced the second list comprising the farmers' names spread across 13 districts, who will be eligible for unconditional loan waiver of up to Rs 200,000.
On February 24, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced the first list of MJPSKY for 68 villages in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and other ministers, political leaders and officials.
After the second list, the next few lists will be released in phases till April when the entire scheme "unconditionally" benefitting around 5 million farmers would be completed, Kishore Tiwari, President of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission, told IANS.
The government has collected bank account details of nearly 35,00,000 farmers for the loan waiver of up to Rs 200,000 and the beneficiaries shall be issued certificates to the effect, he added.
The scheme was kick-started with two villages from every district to test the efficiency of the system through which the entire crop loan waiver scheme would be implemented and money will be transferred directly into the farmers' bank loan accounts.
Earlier the money used to be transferred to the state Cooperation Department which would then route it to the farmers' bank loan accounts through the district deputy registrars, making it a long-drawn and time-consuming affair.
Thackeray had announced the MJPSKY scheme last December for which the state government on Monday tabled a list of supplementary demands of Rs 24,000 crore for 2019-2020, including Rs 15,000 crore towards the farm loan waiver scheme.
However, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has termed the announcement of beneficiaries as an eyewash, alleging that the state government has again taken the farmers for a ride.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had demanded a discussion on the issue of farmers not getting the full benefits of the loan waiver and staged noisy protests outside the Assembly before the start of the first day's proceedings of the ongoing Budget Session last Monday.