Loan waiver incomplete, say Maharashtra farmers

MUMBAI: Maharashtra farmers’ outfits on Sunday rejected the ₹34,000-crore loan waiver announced by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis last week, calling it ‘incomplete’.

The farmer leaders want the state government to fulfill their demands by July 26 after which they’ll begin their protest.

Besides calling for a blanket loan waiver, the outfits have opposed the cut-off date of June 30, 2016 for the relief. They have also stressed implementing recommendation of Swaminathan Commission that has suggested 50% minimum support price for crops over and above input cost.

The cut-off date for waiving off loans means farmers who have taken loans after June 30, 2016 will not be held eligible for loan waiver benefit.

The outfits, which held a meeting here on Sunday, also decided to start ‘Janjagruti Yatra’ from July 9 to July 23 against the injustice to farmers.

Farmers’ leader, Raghunath Dada Patil, said they have rejected the waiver as it will cover only 89 lakh farmers. “We have been demanding a blanket waiver for the farmers from the beginning and also want the cutoff date to be extended till this year but the government decided to not accept our demands…” Patil said after the meeting. He further said the government did not say a word on implementing recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report.

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said his party would cooperate with the government for now but was not satisfied with its decision. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said he was “unhappy” with the move and will support the farmers.

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