Rajasthan govt distributing loan waiver certificates

Deputy CM Sachin Pilot distributes certificates to the farmers' beneficiaries on the first of farm loan waiver camp. Photos by Suman Sarkar

As a part of pre-poll promise, Rajasthan government began distributing loan waiver certificates to the farmers on Thursday.

"I am happy to receive loan waiver of 19,000 rupees against the loan withdrawn from a cooperative bank. This will be a huge help for me as I run my family single-handedly after the demise of my husband", Prema Devi (55), draped in a traditional Rajasthani odhini (veil) told Deccan Herald at the first day of farm loan waiver camp organised by Congress government across Rajasthan. 

 
Like Prema there were ten more beneficiaries queued in the first row of the farm loan waiver program held at the Sirsi village of Rajasthan, wherein Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot inaugurated the camp and gave certificates to the farmers. Addressing the farmers at Sirsi village, Pilot said, "Rahul Gandhi ji had promised the loan-waiver to farmers as a part of our pre poll promise. Also the decision of loan waiver was taken within two days of the government's formation".
 
Pilot who accused the former Bharatiya Janata Party government of neglecting the interests of the farmers added, "Unlike BJP we are executing our promises. Earlier BJP government also announced a poll waiver but that was mere an eye wash, which they had to do after repeated pressure by Opposition".
 
Similar camps were also started at 33 districts in which loan-waiver certificates were distributed. The entire loan taken by farmers from cooperative banks and land development banks will be waived off in the first phase. The government had also announced waiver of loans up to Rs 2 lakh (for defaulter farmers) from commercial banks.
 
According to the statement made by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot loans of all 24.44 lakh farmers taken from the cooperative banks costing the state exchequer Rs 9,500 crore will be waived. Of them, 13.5 lakh farmers had benefitted from the loan waiver of up to Rs 50,000 given by Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government.
 
However,  government officials are in discussion with the bank officials for carrying out the loan-waiver for the eligible farmers and this will be taken up in the next phase.
 
Interestingly some farmer's loans waived up to Rs 50,000 by the previous government in September-October 2018 will be benefited once again. As the cut-off date for farm loan waiver is till November 30, 2018, officials in the finance department said they had objected to giving benefit of loan waiver to these farmers twice but were overruled by the government. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot confirmed that loans of farmers who had got benefit of loan waiver during the BJP regime would also be waived. 
 
In the first phase, 165 loan waiver camps where the farmers will be given loan waiver certificates will be held across the state from February 7-9.
 
Farmers less excited
Most of the farmers present at the spot looked less excited about the loan waiver scheme introduced by Congress government in Rajasthan. They are of the opinion that loan waiver alone will not work unless issues like MSP, water crises, inflation in the fertilizer prices etc are addressed.
 
Lala Ram of sirsi villager, also one of the loan waiver certificate recipient told DH, "Its high time congovernment increases the MSP value of Bajra from 1,300 rupees to 2000 and wheat from rupees 1000 to 2000. Also issues like reducing the rate of fertilisers, water crisis etc need to be addressed by Congress government". 
 
"In an attempt to make the scheme fair and transparent,  the farmers have to verify their details through their Aadhaar cards, after which the waiver will be processed," said cooperatives registrar Neeraj K Pawan. As of now around four lakh farmers have already registered across Rajasthan.
 

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Rajasthan govt distributing loan waiver certificates

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