Even though several days have passed ever since the Shiv Sena led Maha Vikas Agadhi has formed a government in the state but farmers are still waiting for the loan waiver scheme. Prior to the formation of government Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP NCP had mentioned in the common minimum programme that they will soon waive farm loan after coming to power. However, more than two weeks have passed since the MVA has formed government but no decision has been taken on waiving farm loan. Unseasonal rains in Maharashtra have damaged crops on 70 hectares of land. According to government officials the loss could be to the tune of more than Rs 5,000 crore across 30 of the state’s 36 districts. Thousands of farmers who had already harvested the crop are facing losses as they could not transport the same to market. Marathwada, Konkan and western Maharashtra all have been affected by unseasonal rains that lashed the state in October and November. Around 85 per cent of the Kharif crop has been destroyed in Marathwada region. In western Maharashtra Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Karad and Sholapur have been affected. Farmers are eagerly waiting for the announcement of loan waiver scheme.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had stated that the loan waiver will be implemented after reviewing the state’s financial condition and assessment of the crops damaged in the state. The Shiv Sena had also promised aid of Rs 10,000 to all Maharashtra farmers. It also had promised to take all efforts to help farmers for ensuring a drought free Maharashtra. Under the previous government only crop loans upto Rs 1.5 lakh per farmer were waived but the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP promises to lift this ceiling clearing 7/12 documents of all institutional debts linked to their crops. In order to make the farm sector completely debt free the Sena-Congress-NCP government will have to waive off loans of approximately Rs 1, 31, 578 crore.
In 2017, the previous Shiv Sena-BJP government had implemented a loan waiver of nearly 50 lakh farmers. They had taken long time to waive off farm loans. The erstwhile government had imposed several conditions pertaining to the eligibility of farmers for loan waiver scheme which kept many farmers out of the ambit of loan waiver scheme. Both off take and repayment of farm credit has been slow in Maharashtra since 2017. The winter session of the Maharashtra state assembly began on Monday. Farmers are closely following the winter session of the state assembly as they are expecting that the government will soon make an announcement on loan waiver. Leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis had reminded CM Uddhav Thackeray about the loan waiver.