Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said he had positive discussions with the Centre over formulating a scheme to bring back farmers defaulting on loans, into the institutional credit system in such a way that investment in agriculture is not affected. Making a statement in the Legislative Assembly, Fadnavis said he had assured Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley and Agriculture minister Radhamohan Singh that the state was willing to contribute its share in this scheme to help farmers. Fadnavis said out of the 1.36 crore farmers, 31 lakh had loan dues worth Rs 30,500 crore.
“These farmers are not eligible for fresh loans. There is a need to bring them back into the institutional credit system. But we have to give an incentive to over one crore farmers who pay their loans on time. Systems need to be created as such decisions cannot be taken overnight. If farmers who pay their loan on time get a message that if loan dues are not repaid, the loan will be waived off, then the banking system will collapse,” the CM said.
“A wrong message will be sent among agriculturists,” Fadnavis felt. He said his government’s endeavour is to ensure that the farmers are not debt-ridden again. Fadnavis also took a jibe at Opposition Congress-NCP saying, “you cannot be a messiah of farmers by raising slogans on loan waiver. The plight of farmers is because of your 15-year rule.”
Earlier as soon as the House assembled for the day, the Opposition accompanied by Sena members came into the Well shouting slogans for loan waiver. Speaker Haribhau Bagde immediately adjourned the House till the end of the Question Hour. Later when the House assembled, Fadnavis made his statement and appealed to the House to allow smooth presentation of the State Budget. Bagde then adjourned the House till 2 pm.