The government is not considering any proposal to waive farm loans, Parliament was informed today. Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to Lok Sabha that no debt waiver scheme for farmers was announced by the central government during the last three years. “There is no proposal under consideration of the Union Government to waive loans of farmers,” Gangwar said. The minister’s statement comes at a time when Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka have announced farm loan waivers.
On June 12, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Centre would not fund any of the loan waivers by states and they will have to find their own resources for doing so. In 2008, the government waived farm loans to the tune of Rs 74,000 crore. Replying to another query, the minister said agriculture loans disbursed by regional rural banks (RRBs) during 2016-17 were over Rs 1.23 lakh crore. Replying to another question, Gangwar said 29.09 crore bank accounts have been opened as on July 12, 2017 under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana(PMJDY).