Keeping poll promises, UP waives Rs 36, 359 farm loans

Apr 09, 2017, 02:08
Keeping poll promises, UP waives Rs 36, 359 farm loans

The decision of waiving off loans will benefit 2 crore 15 lakh farmers of the state.

A Rs. 36,359-crore proposal that waves loans owed by marginal and small farmers in Uttar Pradesh was approved April 4 by the state's government.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said "misconceptions" have been created about him due to his saffron-clad look and promised to win hearts of "all sections" by spreading a new idiom of happiness and prosperity. "When Modi ji's government could waive off 1 lakh 40 thousand crore business man's loan then can't they do for the farmers?" he asked. The fine print was in the BJP manifesto, where they said that the relief would only be for small and marginal farmers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his election campaign in the state, had promised that loan waiver for farmers would be done in the first Cabinet meeting if the BJP came to power.

There are around 2.30 crore farmers in UP, with the number of small and marginal farmers coming around 2.10 crore, but not all of them take loans. Farmers will also reportedly get Rs 10 more than the minimum support price per quintal.

Srikant Sharma, the power minister who jointly addressed the news conference with Singh, said the cabinet had also made a decision to continue with the anti-Romeo squad.

In the press briefing after the cabinet meet, minister Srikanth Sharma announced that the government had also chose to keep a target of 80 lakh tonnes for wheat purchase.

Singh noted that since the state was bound by the law on fiscal discipline which puts a condition to cap fiscal deficit to under 3 per cent of the GDP, the state would raise funds for the loan waiver through a "Kisan Relief Bond".

"We will win hearts of all sections of people with our style of working".

It covers only crop loans taken from banks in 2016-17 for seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, said UP minister Siddharth Nath Singh. told the media post the cabinet meeting.

Also, 7,000 purchase centres would be opened in the state.

The delay had given the opposition fodder to target the BJP, saying the ruling party had replied that it did not want to make any decisions related to the loan waiver in a hurry, and needed some more time to ponder over the decision.