Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has demanded the Centre introduce a scheme to waive off loans of farmers across the country on the lines of the relief being provided to the ryots in Congress-ruled states. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gehlot said the Congress party president has been continuously demanding loan waiver of farmers and Congress ruled states have done the same, which has come as a breather for farmers.
Rajasthan has decided to waive-off short term loans of upto Rs 2 lakh taken from nationalised banks, scheduled banks, regional rural banks and bhumi vikas banks, he wrote in the letter written on January 2, which came in the public domain on Friday. Gehlot said the former government in the state had estimated farm loan waiver scheme to cost Rs 8,000 crore.
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Under the previous government tenure, Rs 2,000 crore was proposed and the remaining Rs 6,000 crore has been borne by the present Congress government. In such situations financial burden on the state is imminent, he wrote.
On Friday, the issue of farm loan waiver was raised by the Opposition in the Rajasthan assembly during Zero Hour.
Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria dubbed the state government’s loan waiver order as “handicapped” and claimed it was creating confusion among the farmers. Kataria asked Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to specify how many farmers had benefitted from the loan waiver and how much money had been deposited in their bank accounts so far.
Responding to the opposition, Gehlot said the government had taken a decision and its implementation would take time. “The uproar created by the opposition is unnecessary. Our leaders gave effective reply to comments, demands of BJP leaders but they kept disrupting proceedings of the house,” Gehlot told reporters outside the House.