Newly-elected Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday announced that his administration had decided to waive irrigation tax owed by farmers until October 2018 amounting to Rs 207 crore, ANI reported. The Congress leader made the statement at a Republic Day event in Raipur.

Baghel said the announcement will benefit around 15 lakh farmers. The decision follows the government’s waiver of farm loans in a bid to help farmers and another announcement that the state would return “unused” land to farmers. The “unused” land refers to the almost 2,000 hectare of land acquired by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in 2005 for a Tata Steel factory in Bastar.

The company had withdrawn from the project soon after several farmers had protested the acquisition.