Centre rules out farmers’ loan waivers, asks States to fund it themselves

Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, has stated that the Centre will not provide any farm loan waivers. He further ascertained that the Centre will adhere to its fiscal targets. “I have already made the position clear that states which want to go in for these kind of schemes (farm loan waivers) will have to generate them from their own resources”, he said.

This statement comes after Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra governments announced loan waivers to the state farmers. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, delivered on his poll promise by waiving off farmer loans worth Rs 36,359 crore in April this year. Following similar demands, Maharashtra followed suit by waiving off loans of marginal farmers worth around Rs 35,000 crores. On June 20, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh announced crop loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers with less than five acres of land, and another Rs 2 lakh for marginal farmers with larger pieces of land.

Jaitley further stated that he would not comment on the loan waivers by the states, having made the Centre’s decision clear on June 12, 2017. He directed the states to find their own resources to fund such schemes and that the states should not expect any assistance from the centre.

The UPA government previously had waived farm loans worth Rs 74,000 crore in 2008.

 

Sources: The Hindu, Livemint

Unseasonal showers triggers farmer suicides

Photo Courtesy – www.firstpost.com

Nearly two dozen farmers have committed suicide in Maharashtra in the past three weeks due to massive loss of crops, a report has claimed. “As per our records, 18 farmers have committed suicide between February 22 and March 18 and some more are being reported,” said sources working closely with the government for relief and rehabilitation

Kishor Tiwari, an activist claimed that around 100 farmers had committed suicides across the state following unseasonal showers and hailstorms. “The situation after the hailstorm is really damaging. Three days of hailstorm has completed damaged the crop of horsegram, wheat and jowar. Earlier bouts of unseasonal showers had damaged the soyabean crop. So it’s an irreparable loss to the farmers for which government help is too late and too little,” Tiwari said.

No relief has been declared by the government even though more than 15 lakh hectares of farmland have been destroyed in the hailstorm in 28 out of Maharashtra’s 35 districts. Any announcement on aid will need the approval of the Election Commission of India, as the Model Code of Conduct is in force. A Central team toured the affected region last week, and any decision on aid is expected on Wednesday.