Devendra Fadnavis said he is studying UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Model of Farm Loan Waiver. Opposition gave three days ultimatum to CM for taking the decision.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s quick announcement of a farm loan waiver has put pressure on another young BJP Chief Minister. As the Congress-NCP led Opposition strengthened its demand for a farm-loan waiver following Yogi’s decision to write off loans. Opposition parties have taken an aggressive stance on the issue with senior NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar giving the Fadnavis government a three-day ultimatum to make a decision.
“If UP government can waive Rs. 30, 000 crore farm loans why not the state government,” Ajit Pawar questioned Fadnavis government.
The internal sources from the Mantralaya said that, there is equal pressure from central government as well as BJP think tanks on Fadnavis to rethink what he said about farmers loan waiver, they are creating internal pressure on CM to follow Yogi’s footsteps and bring some drastic resolution, so that his government will not face any unwanted pressure from farmers.
Mr. Fadnavis, outside Vidhan Sabha declared that his government is studying the UP model to see how relief can be granted to farmers. “I told the finance secretary to study the UP model of loan waiver,” Fadnavis said as the Shiv Sena and Opposition demanded him to release his statement on Farmer loan waiver issue.
“The government is with the farmers. We are considering how we can give relief to farmers who are in debt,” Fadnavis further added.
Tukaram Gaikwad, a farmer said “Agrarians in the state are in distress for many reasons — falling prices of their produce, unseasonal rains, hailstorm and acute water crisis. The decision should be quick to give relief to farmer and further escalation of suicide.”
While addressing a rally, NCP President Sharad Pawar said he would intensify the movement by organising more rallies and accused the Fadnavis government of not keeping its waiver promise made in the run up to the state Assembly polls in 2014.
He said, “The Centre is writing off loans of industrialists as NPA (non-performance asset), but doesn’t want to do the same for farmers. Around 20 public sector banks haven’t recovered bad debt of Rs. 2,80,494 crore from industrialists then why can’t loans of Rs. 30,000-40,000 crore be waived off.”
While Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray said, “Farmers in the state are committing suicides thus farm loan waiver is the need of the hour. We want their 7/12 extract free from debt”, he urged the state government.
However, it would be a tough financial decision with the state government having limited resources and the Centre refusing to foot the bill for the Rs. 30,000 crore loan waiver.
However, when all this were going on, Shamburaje Desai of the Shiv Sena informed that two debt-ridden farmers had committed suicide in Wadgaon at Satara district recently. “If Uttar Pradesh can make a provision of Rs. 36,000 crore to waive off loans up to Rs. 1 lakh, why can’t Maharashtra. Our financial condition is much better than Uttar Pradesh. UP Chief Minister did not wait for central government help,” Mr. Desai said.
Subhash Sabne (also from Sena) said, “Farmers in Parbhani are planning to go on strike from June 1 by stopping Kharif sowing. If farmers strike and stop sowing, should we eat ‘dhatura’ (poisonous thorn apple),” he asked.
Ashish Deshmukh and Sanjay Kute (both BJP) said the state government should go for a loan waiver to ensure there is no burden on the financial condition of the state and continue the investment in agriculture sector.
Questioning the study of UP model for loan waiver, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, LoP in Maharashtra Assembly said, “Why to study UP model, ask us how to waive off the loan as we have already done it before. Government has no will to do so, that’s why giving excuses about it.”