Farmers in Haryana have refused to withdraw their protest. These farmers are currently sitting on dharna in several parts of the state and in order to highlight their grievances and they are even threatening to block national and state highways for about three hours on June 16, reports Indian Express. In the wake of increasing farmers’ protest across various parts of the country, Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government has reportedly started the process of collecting details about the outstanding farm loans, especially those, given by cooperative banks and societies. Farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been able to force governments there to give in to their demands after launching massive agitations.
Speaking to the Indian Express, a government official on Monday informed that in total there are about Rs 6,575 cr worth of defaulting loans which these farmers could not pay back on time. “Keeping in view the past practice of waiving such farm loans, the government may consider to waive off this much amount.” He also said that no decision has been taken on the issue yet and for now only details are being collected.
The report further stated that the total amount of farm loan disbursed by both cooperative and commercial banks is much higher. With more than 22 lakh Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) being distributed, the total outstanding crop loan in Haryana as on March 31, 2015 is estimated to be around Rs 28,558 cr.
Commenting about the same, Gurnam Singh Chaduni, Haryana unit president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) said, “From the media reports, we have heard about farm loans of Rs 56,000 crore pending against the Haryana farmers.” Further recommending measures to ensure farmers’ survival, Chaduni suggested the government to implement Swaminathan Commission report.
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Indian Express report also informed that on BKU’s call, the dharnas are being conducted in as many as eight district headquarters in Haryana and a similar one will begin in Sonepat today. Regarding the same, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is likely to hold a meeting with present and past MLAs of the Congress party in New Delhi today. The party is said to launch an agitation on the farmers’ issue.
However, Ashok Tanwar, who is the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president said that he will not attend as he had no idea about the meeting. Tanwar also said that the party is likely to conduct a week-long protest starting from June 18 on the issues of farmers and law and order.