While interacting with farmers in the programme ‘Mi Mukhyamantri Boltoye (I am CM speaking),’ Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that a crop loan waiver won’t free the farmers from the vicious cycle of debt.
In the first episode of the programme which was telecast on Sunday, Fadnavis said,”higher capital investments in agriculture adequately backed by water and power supplies over a longer period of time will bring greater economic stability to small and marginal farmers. Any crop loan waiver is not a lasting solution, It might help farmers to get rid of the debt but won’t increase their repaying capacity when he goes for his next loan,” The Indian Express reported.
While focussing on a permanent solution, he added that we need to think about the ways to free farmers from the vicious cycle of debt.
“Instead of a one-time crop loan waiver, which will certainly give us political mileage, our policies are to free farmers from the vicious cycle of debt.”
In the interaction, one farmer asked the CM about the way to ensure that farmers don’t have to seek a crop loan waiver ever. Replying to his query, Fadnavis said, while I’m not ruling it out completely, I would like to say it has to be provided at an appropriate time and adequately backed by greater infrastructure in the agriculture sector. We are making higher capital investments in the agriculture sector. Out of Rs 31,000-crore capital investments, Rs 19,000 crore is allocated to the agriculture sector to help farmers,” The Indian Express reported.
While referring to the 2008 crop loan waiver he also said that it’s not about getting political mileage. If we give 30,000 crore loan waiver, it will surely give us political mileage but won’t make the farmers self-reliant. It will only help them to get rid of their current debt but they have to seek a fresh loan and they will again fall into the debt trap.
Talking about his government’s strategy he said that his effort is to use this Rs. 30,000 crore in agriculture to provide water, power and strong market linkages to farmers, which will minimise their debt burden and will assure income provided through sustainable agriculture practices.
Earlier, the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh had decided to extend a crop loan waiver. Since then, other states are in a constant pressure to implement a similar policy.