Maharashtra: Devendra Fadnavis to lead delegation to centre over farm loan waivers

".The government of Maharashtra would participate in the scheme as per the fiscal space of the state", he said, adding that if the debt of these farmers is not serviced, they will be out of institutional credit system.

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday assured the Maharashtra Assembly that a state government delegation will be meeting Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh for assistance in the agriculture sector.

The impasse in the Maharashtra legislature continued yesterday, as CM Devendra Fadnavis hit back at the Opposition's demands for a waiver of farmer loans, countering with the question: "Will you guarantee that there will be no farmer suicides after the loan waiver?"

The Congress and the NCP have been stridently demanding complete loan waiver for farmers on the floor of legislature and are being joined by the members of Shiv Sena. "We have been demanding loan waivers for the past week and this statement by the chief minister is totally politically-motivated", he said.

Dubbing Fadnavis's statement as "misleading and making baseless allegations against the opposition", Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (Congress) said the government must first announce loan-waiver after which the opposition will come to the table. Your are just shedding crocodile tears.

"Farmers became debt-ridden within a year of the loan waiver".

While assuring the House that he would visit Delhi to hold discussions with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to seek more financial assistance for farmers, Fadnavis said, "The Congress and NCP's protest on loan waiver is pure politics and not really meant to serve the larger interests of the farmers. Totally, as many 16, 000 farmers committed in five years after the loan waiver in 2009".

"While in the opposition, Fadnavis and other leaders raised the demand, but when they are in power now, they are reluctant to offer farm-loan waiver", Vikhe-Patil said. Similarly, ₹11,500 crore has been spent on crop insurance and assistance for natural calamities.

He further said investment in agriculture is the need of the hour for farmers along with the loan waiver. "We are not against loan waiver but we are deliberating on when and how it should be done", Fadnavis said. "But their concern is to cover up the corruption in the banks by infusing more funds availed through crop loan", he said.

Earlier, speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Sena leader and MLA Anil Kadam said the State should get financial assistance from the Centre within next two days for announcing the loan waiver. "He should tell us when he will visit the Centre and meet the concerned ministers and the Sena is firm on its stand", he said.

  • Eleanor Harrison