Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
In a bid to reduce the burden of agricultural loans on farmers, the Maharashtra government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 8 announced zero percent interest crop loans. The state government in its yearly budget also announced interest-free loans up to Rs 3 lakh for farmers.
State finance minister Ajit Pawar, while announcing the State budget for FY 2021-22, stated that the government had implemented Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Farmer loan waiver scheme in a simplified manner.
"Under the scheme an amount of Rs 19,929 crore has been credited to the accounts of 3,123,000 farmers. It also paved the way for farmers to get new loans," the minister said in the assembly.
Maharashtra proposes to spend Rs 9,453 crore on EV charging centres
He said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government disbursed crop loans amounting to Rs 28,604 crore in the year 2019-20. Also, crop loans amounting to Rs 42,433 crore were disbursed in the year 2020-21.
Among other things, the MVA government announced a scheme worth Rs 2,000 crore for strengthening Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in the state.
On the issue of electricity connection, the minister said that those farmers who have not been provided electricity connection for agriculture pumps will get the electricity, either through conventional or solar power connection. He also announced that MSEDCL will be given a share capital of Rs 1,500 crore every year for the cause.
Apart from this, the state government also announced a rebate of 33 percent for farmers with pending electricity bills. Pawar said that the government will waive 50 percent of the arrears by March 2022, if farmers pay 50 percent of the remaining arrears.
The state government announced a scheme named 'Maharashtra Agro Business Network Project (Magnet)' for small and marginal fruit and vegetable growers. The cost of the scheme will be Rs 1,000 crore and will be implemented for 6 years aiming to raise the income of the farmers.
Additionally, Pawar said the MahaDBT Portal was activated in December 2020, which will provide the benefits of various agricultural schemes to the farmers through a single application. Until now, over 11 lakh farmers have been registered on this portal and more than 25 lakh applications have been received.