The new Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday waived loans worth Rs 30,729 crore taken by small and marginal farmers. The decision was made at the first Cabinet meeting lead by Chief Minister Adityanath in Lucknow. It has also decided to forego non-performing assets worth Rs 5,630 crore of seven lakh farmers.
The step is likely to benefit 86 lakh farmers who have loans up to Rs 1 lakh, according to India Today. Those with up to five acres of landholdings will be counted as small farmers, while those with less than 2.5-acre holdings will be considered marginalised farmers. Waiving farmers’ loans was the main poll promise of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which won 312 seats in the 403-seat Assembly.
Traditionally, a new government holds its first Cabinet meeting right after the ministers are sworn in. Adityanath, however, broke that convention – Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting came 15 days after he was inaugurated on March 19. Officials told NDTV that during these two weeks, they were working on the details of the waiver package. The Cabinet meeting was also pushed to April to avoid putting pressure on the state in the 2016-2017 financial year.
The UP government has also decided to set up 5,000 centres for wheat procurement. Initially, 40 lakh metric tonnes of wheat will be purchased at a rate of Rs 10 per quintal, reported The Financial Express. At procurement centres, farmers can directly buy crop by producing their Aadhaar cards.
Moreover, Chief Minister Adityanath lauded the state’s Anti-Romeo squads. He asked the officials to only target people after they are briefed by their seniors. The Cabinet has also decided to not allow any illegal slaughterhouses to be set up in the state, adding that 26 illegal abattoirs had already been shut down.
The other announcements made include a sports complex in Ghazipur, and that a ministerial group will prepare a report on illegal mining and submit it within a week. Adiyanath also formed a panel of ministers to tour states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra to come up with a new industrial policy to check the migration of state’s workforce.