The Rajasthan government has announced a farm loan waiver of Rs 20,000 crore, Hindustan Times reported on Thursday. The state will waive all farmer loans over Rs 50,000. After the announcement, farmers called off protests in Sikar, which were on for 13 days.
“A high level team of specialists will talk to stakeholders in other states and chart out the process of loan waiver and its impact in Rajasthan,” Agriculture Minister Prabhulal Saini was quoted as saying. He made the announcement after long discussions with the protestors’ representatives began on Wednesday.
“We regret the inconvenience caused to people due to the stir and asked farmers to end the sit in,” said Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA Amraram, who was among those representing the farmers.
Besides Rajasthan, four states including Uttar Pradesh had announced they would waive farm loans. In August, the Reserve Bank of India had said that such waivers “pose a major fiscal risk over the medium term”. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also said states writing off these loans would have to generate funds for it themselves, and that the central government would not assist them.