NCP chief Sharad Pawar today claimed that the investment in agriculture sector got “revived” after the UPA government waived farm loans worth Rs 70,000 crore. “When I was the Union Minister for Agriculture in Manmohan Singh government, we took the courageous step of waiving off farmers’ loan worth Rs 70,000 crore. The outcome of the decision was that the investment in agriculture sector, which had been stopped, got revived and the production of agriculture produce increased.
“And from a net importer, we became a major exporter,” said Pawar, speaking at the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) here. Pawar said due to the urbanisation and development of the highways and industrialisation, the farm land is shrinking and those who are dependent on the farming are getting affected.
“To avoid this, there is a need to go into the new sectors and to empower the new generation of those who are affected so that they can venture into other sectors,” added the former Union minister. He said there is need to bring in new policies to boost other sectors such as service, ago-processing or tertiary.
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Speaking about the demonetisation and its effects on the small sectors and cooperative banks, Pawar claimed there are job cuts in the manufacturing as well as small sectors and transactions at the co-operative banks have been stopped as old notes, deposited in these co-operative banks after demonetisation are still not being exchanged.
“Co-operative banks are badly hit after demonetisation as old notes deposited by the account holders in the bank after it are still not being exchanged. Due to this, the banking transactions in these banks have been hit. Old currency notes worth Rs 8,000 are lying in the co-operative banks in Maharashtra,” added Pawar.
“The government thinks the commercial and public sector banks are the one which are working right, but as per the information I have, the non-performing assets (NPAs) of all these public sector banks are on the higher side and looking at the NPAs of these banks, it seems that all these banks are staring at a financial crisis,” said Pawar.
He said he would again meet finance minister on Monday to discuss the issue of co-operative banks.’ MCCIA announced the launch of “forum of association” of industries from Western Maharashtra.