Gehlot waives farm loans

Gehlot waives farm loans

Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday night announced complete waiver for farm loans taken from cooperative banks and a waiver up to Rs 2 lakh for loans from other banks.

The state government will bear a burden of Rs 8,000 crore for the waiver.

This was Ashok Gehlot's first order after assuming charge at the secretariat on Wednesday.

"We had a meeting attended by officials and agriculture, finance cooperative departments and the chief secretary. As per the promise made by Rahul Gandhi in the campaign and also in our manifesto, I have issued orders to waive farmers' loans of cooperative banks while the previous government had only waived up to Rs 50,000, which cost the government only Rs 2,000 crore while complete waiver costs Rs 8,000 crore. So, the burden of Rs 6,000 crore has come on the Congress government in Rajasthan," Gehlot told the media.

Moreover, Gehlot added: "There have been suicides in Rajasthan by farmers, which was never heard of. We have decided that up to Rs 2 lakh, from the loans of defaulters even in nationalised and commercial banks, up to November 30, will be waived."

The announcement comes two days after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath signed documents to waive farm loans, keeping the promises made in the Congress manifesto.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel also followed the suit and announced that his government will waive farm loans worth Rs 6,100 crore of around 1.66 million farmers.

The agrarian crisis in Rajasthan is one of the issues that the Congress party had promised to tackle during its campaigning in the run up to the Assembly elections held this month.

The farmer agitations took place in Rajasthan's Shekhawati region in 2017 led by CPI (M).

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot had said, "We would be doing it soon. We will keep our poll promises. We are meeting the officers and getting full details to have a comprehensive farm waiver".
Interestingly, ahead of the polls, the Vasundhara Raje government had announced waiver of Rs 50,000 per farmer for loans taken from cooperative banks.

The Raje government took a loan of Rs 5,000 crore from the National Cooperative Development Corporation to settle loans worth Rs 8,500 crore. The BJP government claimed that it has benefitted around 30 lakh farmers.


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