Investment in agriculture, not loan waiver, solution to farmers' problems: Fadnavis

Mar 18, 2017, 00:54
Investment in agriculture, not loan waiver, solution to farmers' problems: Fadnavis

"Of this, loans of 31,000 farmers are overdue, amounting to ₹30,500 crore", Fadnavis said after the meeting. "If government pays farmers, they will use the money to repay their debt.Just pass a one-line resolution that farmers loans will be waived off and Opposition parties will cooperate with the government in its functioning", Patil said. He said he is willing to lead a delegation to the Centre to meet the Finance and the Agriculture minister for assistance in agriculture sector.

Opposition members today created ruckus in the Maharashtra Legislative Council over Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' statements over the farm loan waiver issue.

Both Shiv Sena and opposition Congress -Nationalist Congress Party were aggressive over farmers loan and continuously demanded to announce waiver for farmers.

Minister of State for Finance Deepak Kesarkar, who would table the budget in the Upper House of the legislature, when asked about the instructions from his party, said that he would carry out his duty as a minister.

"The interesting thing is that during the Fadnavis government's tenure in 2015, 3,228 farmers ended their lives, whereas in the 2016, more than 3,500 farmers committed suicide". They, together with the Congress and NCP MLAs, rushed to the well of the House and shouted vociferous slogans demanding the farm loan waiver.

Fadnavis reiterated that his government was not opposed to farm loan waiver but wanted the decision in favour of farmers. Thackeray had earlier said that the Shiv Sena would not let the government table the state budget until their demand of crop loan waiver was met. "Far from it. During the five years from 2008 when crop loans were waived, Maharashtra reported as many as 16,000 farm suicides", Fadnavis said. "But the Congress-NCP government had given only Rs 7,000 crore, but after the loan waiver in 2009, the number of farmers suicides is increasing drastically". We have spent Rs2,000 crore on crop insurance, Rs8,000 crore on compensation to farmers hit by natural calamities, and Rs11,500 crore on raising farm productivity. In case the debt is not serviced, then these farmers will be out of institutional credit, he said, adding that the NDA government has been trying to increase capital expenditure in the agriculture sector, including drought relief.

Talking to media persons, leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil charged that through his statement, the Chief Minister had tried to "mislead" the people.

"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.

Munde countered the CM's query to the opposition on the loan waiver with his own set of questions.