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Jul 13, 2017 07:03 PM IST | Source:

Maharashtra govt caps waiver at Rs 1 lakh for farm loans up to June 2016

Maharashtra revenue minister Chandrakant Patil announced a farm loan waiver of loans amounting to Rs 1 lakh but the steering committee which fight for farmers' rights rejected the government's offer.

Maharashtra revenue minister Chandrakant Patil announced a waiver of farm loans amounting to Rs 1 lakh which turned outstanding last year on June 30. The reasons for outstanding loans should fall under these three heads - drought, crop failure, and debt-ridden farmers who were unable to repay the loans.

Patil suggested that these loans will be paid into the farmers' accounts by the government and this move will cover a majority of the farmers. For farmers who were not able to repay the loans between June 2016-2017, they would be given a relief package.

An official told Mint that the relief package would mean that the farmers would not have to pay the interests attached to the loan and the committee will reschedule the loans. Rescheduling loans typically means when the lender replaces the borrower's old loan with a new one and offers lower installment of repayment accompanied with a longer period to pay back the loans.

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On 12 June, Patil announced a complete loan waiver with riders and it was decided that the two parties — the government and the farmers' organisation — would discuss the criterion for loan waivers. The steering committee scrubbed the protest but warned that if the promises are not fulfilled by July 25, they would come back with more aggression.

However, state secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha Ajit Nawle rejected this offer. Nawle, who is also the convener of the steering committee of 35 organisations which fight for farmers' rights, insisted that the government is not keen in giving loan waivers. He is confident that these loan waivers come with "hundreds of riders".

To show their disapproval, the steering committee will burn the copies of the recently issued Rs 10,000 loan in front of every gram panchayat in Maharashra on June 21.

Patil on the other hand suggested that the government is ready to consider other proposals by the steering committee which involve loan waivers above Rs 1 lakh despite of the the Reserve Bank of India rules which direct the reasons of loan waivers.
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