The Maharashtra government began to disburse the loan waiver amounts to farmers’ accounts on Wednesday, four months after announcing it, the Hindustan Times reported.
“Today, we have released Rs 4,000 crore, of which Rs 3,200 crore will be used to write off the loans of 4.62 lakh farmers,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said. He explained that the remaining Rs 800 crore will be distributed as incentives for 3.78 lakh farmers, who pay their loans back on time.
Fadnavis said banks had been given the list of beneficiaries. “From a single bank account, money will be transferred to banks, and they will be asked to deposit the money into farmers’ accounts as per the list,” the chief minister said.
The process is expected to be regularised from Monday after the holiday season ends.
Fadnavis, along with Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, Cooperatives Minister Subhash Deshmukh and Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, handed over certificates of loan waiver to farmers, many of whom had travelled from the districts of Amravati, Akola, Kolhapur and Sindhudurg to Mumbai.
Maharashtra had announced a loan waiver package of Rs 34,000 crore for small and marginal farmers under the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana on June 24. He had said that the loan would benefit 89 lakh farmers and make 40 lakh debt-free.
Farmers who had availed crop loans or term loans after April 2009 and had defaulted on them are eligible to get their loans waived up to Rs 1.5 lakh, subject to certain criteria. “And those farmers who paid back their loans regularly will get 25% loan return benefits,” Fadnavis had said. Over 56 lakh farmers had applied for the waivers by September 22, according to the initiative’s website.