Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said farm loan waiver in the year 2008 barely helped 30-40 per cent farmers. He reiterated that writing off farm loans is not the ultimate solution to end farmers’ woes. It was in 2008 that the then UPA government had waived loans of farmers. “Loan waiver is not the ultimate solution but one of the many. The CAG report states that the farm loan waiver of 2008 barely helped 30-40 per cent farmers,” Fadnavis said as he launched a half-hour television show of his own titled ‘Mi Mukhyamantri Boltoy’ yesterday on DD Sahyadri channel.
“The most distressed farmers received no benefit,” he added. Fadnavis, who has followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s footsteps who addresses the nation every month through his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, will be interacting directly with people every Sunday.
People send questions to the chief minister through social media, emails and a select few are present in person during the programme.
Fadnavis said waiving loans would make farmers eligible to borrow further money and those who had received a loan waiver in 2008 once again took loans and were unable to repay them. He said there is a need to invest more and make agriculture more feasible and sustainable.
Replying to a question on fixing a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for perishable agricultural produce, Fadnavis said it is not possible to set an MSP on perishable crops but processing these crops, especially fruits for their juices would help farmers. “The state government is setting up food-processing units,” he said.
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To a question regarding his pet project ‘Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan’, Fadnavis said it is an amalgamation of 14 different schemes and has succeeded only because of people’s participation. “It will change the face of Maharashtra in the next few years,” Fadnavis said.