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Mumbai too have farmers? Surprised many

Eight hundred and eleven farmers on Mumbai remain unnoticed, RTI activist demands names to be made public.

When Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced loan waiver to distressed farmers he never would have thought that even agriculturists from Mumbai would feature in the list along with other districts of the state. The list released by the state government includes 694 farmers from Mumbai city and 119 farmers from suburban Mumbai who are eligible for farm loan waiver. Thus a question which arises here is do people really indulge in cultivation activities in a metropolis like Mumbai which is known as the commercial capital of the country? In a city where there is scarcity of land how can agricultural activities be carried out? Are people cultivating on terraces of their flat? The Chief Minister’s office has released a list of beneficiaries who are eligible for farm loan waiver on social media.

“A question which arises in my mind is do farmers reside in Mumbai? The list released by state government also features farmers from the city. We will carry out a probe to ascertain whether these farmers are genuine and eligible for loan waiver,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“The government is trying to mislead farmers by releasing fabricated list of beneficiaries eligible for loan waiver. They should apologise to the residents of Maharashtra. The CM had earlier announced that around Rs. 34,000 crore will be required for loan waiver which has been reduced to Rs. 5,000 crore. Only 15,000 farmers will be granted loan waiver instead of 89,000 farmers. If no farms are available in Mumbai from where have so many farmers cropped up from the city? Thus the government is only trying to mislead people by releasing bogus list of beneficiaries,” said Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant.

RTI activist Anil Galgali tweeted, “Mumbai too have farmers. However the list attracted attention on the social media. If there are 811 farmers in the city then their list must be made public.”

Sanjay Nirupam tweeted, “Farmers in Mumbai? A fraud list of loan waiver beneficiaries released by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Farmers in Mumbai got waiver. Can’t believe this.”

The loan waiver amount announced by Maharashtra government is much bigger as compared to other states. The state will write off farm loans up to Rs 2,50,000 and those farmers who possess valid 7/12 extract. As per the loan waiver scheme more than Rs 35, 36, 10, 216 farmers will benefit from the scheme.

“We will verify the list of loan accounts from Mumbai and suburbs. The benefit will not go to anyone who does not deserve it. It could be farmers who now reside in the city but own land elsewhere,” said state co-operation minister Subash Deshmukh.

The maximum number of beneficiaries are from Buldhana district (2,49,818) in Vidarbha followed by Ahmednagar (2,00,869) in Western Maharashtra region and Beed district (2,08,480) in Marathwada.

The least number of beneficiaries are  from Mumbai city (694),Mumbai suburbs (119) and Palghar district (918).

Under the loan waiver Rs. 34, 022 crore is set to be disbursed by the government – which would benefit 89 lakh farmers and nearly 40 lakh farmers would be totally debt-free.

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