The Maharashtra government is likely to cap loan write-off for individual farmers at Rs 1 lakh in its effort to restrict the outflow on account of loan waiver of Rs 30,000 crore, an Indian Express report said. This would help state government cover all marginal and small farmers, including those who are under severe debt burden. There are about 1.36 crore farmers in the state , out of which about 80 lakh are regularly repaying loans. However, close to 31 lakh farmers have been debt-ridden since 2012. Even among these farmers, the loan waiver would be restricted to Rs 1 lakh ceiling.
Last Monday, the state government had said that it would provide Rs 10,000 to each farmer to help purchase seeds and fertilisers to start the sowing of crops for kharif season. The decision of the Devendra Fadnavis Government will help about 40 lakh farmers. According to government sources, loan waiver modalities and parameters to define the eligibility criteria would need some time. “Banks would be directed to immediately give Rs 10,000 to each farmer, especially those in debt and with small and marginal landholding, to enable them to procure seeds and fertilisers,” an official was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
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As per estimates by the government, the Rs 10,000 direct aid would create extra burden of more than Rs 6,000 crore. the CM has earlier pointed out that the loan waiver was to provide help to small, marginal and needy farmers across the board. The Maharashtra Government’s decision to provide waiver to farmers is also an attempt to lift feeling of discrimination among the community. Fadnavis had also asked the committee led by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil to come out with a mechanism to make sure the decision only benefits the poor and debt-ridden farmers .