Maharashtra farmers with crop loan over Rs 200,000 ineligible for waiver

FILE PHOTO": Uddhav Thackeray | Photo: PTI

Farmers whose crop loan is more than Rs 200,000, will not be eligible for the loan waiver scheme announced by the Uddhav Thackeray-led 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' government in Maharashtra last week.

A Government Resolution (GR) issued here on Saturday said.

"As per the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme, loan up to Rs 200,000 taken between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019 and which has not been repaid till September 30, 2019 will be eligible for waiver," it said.

Farmers, whose crop loan and restructured loan is more than Rs 200,000 will not be eligible for any benefit under the scheme, it added.

A committee of the Finance and Co-operation Department will take a decision on whether to include theA (non performing assets) accounts of farmers in nationalised, private and rural banks in the loan waiver scheme.

Individual farmers will be considered for the loan waiver, the GR said, adding that loan taken from nationalised, district, co-operative banks and co-operative societies will be considered.

Others who will not get the benefit of the scheme are elected representatives, including serving and former ministers, present and former MLAs, central and state government employees, whose monthly family income is more than Rs 25,000, excluding Class IV employees.

Those who pay tax on the income incurred from non agriculture sector, pensioners whose monthly income is more than Rs 25,000, excluding former servicemen, will also not get the benefit.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Ajit Navale alleged the GR issued by the state government was a "betrayal" of the farming community, saying majority of farmers will not get the benefit of the scheme as they have loan arrears of more than Rs 200,000.

"In the last loan waiver scheme, there was a provision of one-time settlement, under which the government would pay Rs 1.5 lakh if the farmer deposits the remaining amount of the loan," he said.

"Majority of farmers have loan arrears of more than Rs 200,000. So most of the farmers are out of scheme. However, the government had said that the loan waiver was unconditional," he said.

Navale said the GR should be withdrawn and the loan waiver should be made unconditional.

Uddhav Thackeray had made the announcement of the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme in the Legislative Assembly in Nagpur on last Saturday, the last day of the winter session of the legislature.

This loan waiver comes over two years after the Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver announced by the then BJP-Sena government in 2017.

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