Loan waiver: Maharashta govt releases Rs 4k-cr in phase 1

18 Oct 2017

The Maharashtra government has released a sum of Rs 4,000 crore under the first phase of the over Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Wednesday.
Disbursal, in the first phase, will cover more than 8 lakh farmers, Fadnavis said as he listed initiatives taken by his government towards increasing investment in the agriculture sector.
"Today we have released Rs 4,000 crore of which Rs 3,200 crore will be for writing off the loans of 4.62 lakh farmers.
The remaining Rs 800 crore will be in the form of incentive for 3.78 lakh farmers who are paying their loans on time," he said.
The release of funds under the scheme, announced in June, will be a continuous process, the chief minister said, adding that by November 15, 75-80 per cent of the disbursement will be completed.
"Farmers have been going through a lot of trouble and year after year we have seen that the agricultural growth rate has been in negative.
"The first decision that we took after coming to power (in 2014) was that we did not keep our work limited to relief and rehabilitation, because that was our job anyway," Fadnavis said at an event organised for disbursement of the loan waiver amount into accounts of farmers.
Fadnavis said that from Rs 21,000 crore in 2011-12, investment in the agriculture sector had increased by almost three times to Rs 63,000 crore now.
He said the BJP-led government's flagship schemes such as the 'Jal Yukt Shivar' (a water conservation programme) have made a big contribution in ensuring a growth rate of up to 12 per cent in the key sector.
"In actual terms, the agriculture sector is seeing production worth Rs 40,000 crore," Fadnavis said.
The chief minister reiterated that loan waiver was not the only solution to farmers' distress and maintained that continuous investments in the sector for the next 5 years will ensure sustainable development.
"Our job has been to get farmers, who had gone out of the institutional credit system, back into the system so that they do not get stuck in the trap of money lenders and that they are able to take more loans from financial institutions, repay them and also earn money," he said. (PTI)