In the wake of Maharashtra government clearing a Rs 35,000 cr farm loan waiver on Sunday as well as the farmers’ protest in Madhya Pradesh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday reacted and said that states like Maharashtra, that were keen on waiving off farmers’ loans should generate funds from their own resources, ANI reported. The Finance Minister’s statements came after the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra had announced a loan waiver for the farmers in the state. The Indian Express says that 1.36 crore farmers have a total loan of Rs 1.14 lakh crore in the state and waiving this will be extremely tough since the state already is reeling under a Rs 4 lakh cr debt – the state’s budget for this fiscal is just Rs 2.57 lakh crore. IE, however, reports that the total loan waiver of all marginal and small farmers only amounted to Rs 30,000 crore.
Earlier this year, the newly elected Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, had come true on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s promise promise of granting a loan waiver. He had announced the waiving off of Rs 36,000 crore loans after his first cabinet meeting on April 4, 2017. Adityanath’s decision of waiving off farmer loans had given rise to similar demands in states such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement today, came after a meeting with the heads of PSU banks that he was attending to discuss the problem of Non- Performing Assets (NPAs) crisis. Speaking to PTI, he said, “NPA resolution, finances of banks, review of financial inclusion discussed with heads of public banks…PSBs made stable operating profit of Rs 1.5 lakh crore in 2016-17, net profit at Rs 574 crore after provisioning. Speedy resolution for pending NPA cases required”.