The Shiv Sena today asked the Maharashtra government to set up a study group to ensure that benefits of the Rs 34,022-crore loan waiver scheme announced recently reaches the needy farmers. “It is important to note which farmer living in which village receives the benefits of loan waiver. In order to ensure that the needy farmers receive their due benefit, the government should form a study group,” Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray told reporters here today. “The government has announced that loans of 40 lakh farmers will be waived (completely). Who are these farmers and which village do they reside in. The government needs to give specific information on this,” he said.
“The Sena is a part of the government and has backed the farmers’ agitation, so it is important we get this information,” Thackeray said. The Sena chief said the names of farmers whose loans have been waived should be presented in the state Legislature. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday announced that the government has decided to waive the outstanding loans up to June 30, 2016.
Thackeray, who has often taken on the lead partner BJP over the farmers’ cause, also demanded that the government expand the scope of the scheme to waive the outstanding loans up to June 2017.
Thackeray also wanted the study group to examine the demand that the monetary help offered to those who pay their loans regularly is not enough and more concessions need to be given to them so that they are not demoralised. “Serious charges slapped on farmers who had gone on protest have not been withdrawn uptil now. They need to be dropped immediately,” the Sena chief said.
Taking a dig at the BJP for putting up hoardings crediting themselves for the loan waiver, Thackeray said they (the BJP leaders) should also put up posters of how their party played a cruel joke on farmers all this while.