Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday announced that farmers’ loans up to Rs 2 lakh would be waived in the state, PTI reported.
“Crop loans outstanding upto September 30, 2019, will be waived by my government,” Thackeray said in the Assembly. “The upper ceiling for the amount is Rs 2 lakh. The scheme will be called Mahatma Jyotirao Phule loan waiver scheme.”
Soon after taking oath as the chief minister, Thackeray had promised concrete help to farmers. In its common minimum programme, the Maha Vikas Aghadi – the alliance of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress – had assured immediate loan waivers to farmers who suffered due to floods this year.
The scheme will be implemented from March 2020, Thackeray said, adding that the money would directly be deposited in the beneficiaries’ banks.
State Finance Minister Jayant Patil said the waiver would be unconditional and details would be communicated by the chief minister’s office in due course.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders walked out from the Assembly and said Thackeray had not fulfilled its original promise of full loan waiver. “This government has betrayed the mandate of the people and now they have betrayed farmers,” former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, according to NDTV. “This is not a complete loan waiver that will take care of all the loans under saat barah [land ownership] documents of farmers.”
“Farmers will not have to go anywhere,” Shiv Sena leader Sunil Prabhu said. “They won’t have to stand in line. They will not have to apply.”