state news

UP agriculture minister defends decision to waive farm loans as low as Rs 100

According to official data, some 50 farmers got less than Rs 100 of their outstanding loans waived.

The agriculture minister of Uttar Pradesh has said it was not the state government’s fault that some farmers had very low bank loans, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday. “Where is the surprise if the government has distributed the certificate to a farmer waiving Rs 100 or even less, the amount that he actually owed to a bank?” asked Surya Pratap Shahi after reports suggested that meagre amounts were being waived.

According to official data, some 50 farmers got less than Rs 100 of their outstanding loans waived while 200 others got less than Rs 1,000 waived. Shahi, however, said that there were farmers whose loan waiver amount was as high as Rs 90,000 or more. “After all, we cannot make his dues bigger or smaller.”

The additional director of the state’ agriculture department , Rajesh Gupta, said there was no cap on the the minimum amount for the loan waiver scheme. He said there were around 8,000-10,000 farmers every district who paid their dues to banks in 2016-17, but some amount, which in many cases has been found to be less than Re 1, was due because of various reasons like mistake in interest calculation. “...We have waived only that amount and issued certificates accordingly against the information made available to us by the banks concerned,” he added.

However, an unidentified official told the Hindustan Times that the exercise of distributing certificates was to gain political mileage out of it. “This is perhaps the reason why the Adityanath government is distributing certificates with the chief minister and prime minister’s photos on them to farmers through camps that ministers attend to create a buzz,” said the official. “There was no need for distributing certificates because the loan amount is transferred to a farmer’s bank account much before he is given a certificate.”

Opposition parties in the state called the loan waiver scheme a fiasco. “It is laughable,” said Juhie Singh of the Samajwadi Party. Other leaders accused the Adityanath government of inflating the number of beneficiaries by waiving such meagre amounts.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing the glamour back to flying while keeping it affordable

The pleasure of air travel is back, courtesy of an airline in India.

Before dinner, fashionable women would retire to the powder room and suited-up men would indulge in hors d’oeuvres, surrounded by plush upholstery. A gourmet meal would soon follow, served in fine tableware. Flying, back in the day, was like an upscale party 35,000 feet up in the air.

The glamour of flying has been chronicled in Keith Lovegrove’s book titled ‘Airline: Style at 30,000 feet’. In his book, Lovegrove talks about how the mid-50s and 60s were a “fabulously glamorous time to fly in commercial airlines”. Back then, flying was reserved for the privileged and the luxuries played an important role in making travelling by air an exclusive experience.

Fast forward to the present day, where flying has become just another mode of transportation. In Mumbai, every 65 seconds an aircraft lands or takes off at the airport. The condition of today’s air travel is a cumulative result of the growth in the volume of fliers, the accessibility of buying an air ticket and the number of airlines in the industry/market.

Having relegated the romance of flying to the past, air travel today is close to hectic and borderline chaotic thanks to busy airports, packed flights with no leg room and unsatisfactory meals. With the skies dominated by frequent fliers and the experience having turned merely transactional and mundane, is it time to bid goodbye to whatever’s enjoyable in air travel?

With increased resources and better technology, one airline is proving that flying in today’s scenario can be a refreshing, enjoyable and affordable experience at the same time. Vistara offers India’s first and only experience of a three-cabin configuration. At a nominal premium, Vistara’s Premium Economy is also redefining the experience of flying with a host of features such as an exclusive cabin, 20% extra legroom, 4.5-inch recline, dedicated check-in counter and baggage delivery on priority. The best in class inflight dining offers a range of regional dishes, while also incorporating global culinary trends. Other industry-first features include Starbucks coffee on board and special assistance to solo women travellers, including preferred seating.

Vistara’s attempts to reduce the gap between affordability and luxury can also be experienced in the economy class with an above average seat pitch, complimentary selection of food and beverages and a choice of leading newspapers and publications along with an inflight magazine. Hospitality aboard Vistara is, moreover, reminiscent of Singapore Airlines’ famed service with a seal of Tata’s trust, thanks to its cabin crew trained to similarly high standards.

The era of style aboard a ‘flying boat’ seems long gone. However, airlines like Vistara are bringing back the allure of air travel. Continuing their campaign with Deepika Padukone as brand ambassador, the new video delivers a bolder and a more confident version of the same message - making flying feel new again. Watch the new Vistara video below. For your next trip, rekindle the joy of flying and book your tickets here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vistara and not by the Scroll editorial team.