Will Maharashtra waive farm loans next? CM Fadnavis ‘to study’ UP model
A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced crop loan waiver up to Rs 1 lakh, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said the state government will study the UP model of farm loan waiver worth Rs 36,000 crore.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly here, where Shiv Sena and BJP members demanded that the state government announce a loan waiver for distressed farmers, Fadnavis said, "we will study how Uttar Pradesh will raise such a huge amount."
The CM said he has directed the State Finance Secretary to study how UP goes about with the promised debt waiver.
Referring to the High Court directive in Tamil Nadu asking the state government to waive farm loans following a peasant protest, Fadnavis said, "decision of waiving farm loan is the prerogative of the government."
Fadnavis also targeted the Opposition for staying away from the House proceedings saying they were roaming outside in name of 'Sangharsh Yatra'.
"But the Sena and BJP members' sentiments regarding farm loan waiver are genuine and the state government is positive to it," the CM felt.
Fadnavis said, "we have asked Centre for financial assistance. If we don't get help from Centre, we are working on how a loan waiver (of Rs 30,000-crore) can be granted."
Earlier, as soon as the House assembled after a three-day break and Speaker Haribhau Bagde called for the questions, Shiv Sena and BJP members were on their feet on the issue of farm loan waiver.
Shamburaje Desai (Shiv Sena) said recently two farmers committed suicide at Wadgaon in Satara district since they were debt-ridden.
"If Uttar Pradesh can make provision of Rs 36,000 crore to waive off loan upto Rs 1 lakh, why can't Maharashtra. Our financial condition is better than Uttar Pradesh. UP Chief Minister did not wait for central government help," he added.
Desai said Rs 30,500-crore loan in Maharashtra should be waived off before the Budget session ends on April 7.
Subhash Sabne (Sena) said farmers in Parbhani are planning to go on strike from June 1 by stopping Kharif sowing.."If farmers strike and stop sowing, should we eat 'dhatura' (poisonous thorn apple)," he asked.
Ashish Deshmukh and Sanjay Kute (both BJP) said the state government should go for a loan waiver to ensure there is no burden on the financial condition of the state and continue the investment in agriculture sector.
Prashant Bamb, an independent supporting the BJP opposed loan waiver to farmers after which enraged Shiv Sena members started arguing with him. Seeing the Sena members getting too close to Bamb, Minister of State for Housing, Ravindra Waikar (Sena) and Raj Purohit (BJP) rushed to defuse the situation.
(With PTI inputs)