Published: Mon, June 12, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Fadnavis forms ministerial panel to address farmers' issues

Fadnavis forms ministerial panel to address farmers' issues

Farmers across the state heaved a collective sigh of relief on Sunday after the Maharashtra government agreed to a blanket loan waiver for them.

The government will appoint a joint committee comprising farmers' representatives and ministers to decide the loan waiver's parameters.

Speaking about the decision after the meeting, revenue minister Chandrakant Patil said, "All farmers will get a loan waiver with some parameters. Since ally Shiv Sena and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna were also at farmers' side, BJP was left with no option but to accept the demands", a senior BJP leader said. They set a deadline of July 25 for the government to fulfill its promises.

Similarly, Arundhati Bhattacharya chairman of State Bank of India has voiced concern over it. "Credit discipline breaks when you waive off farm loans".

Singh said the recommendations by the M.S. Swaminathan committee should be implemented for the farmers' benefit.

Earlier in the day, the protesting farmers met with a panel of ministers constituted by Devendra Fadnavis.

Patel said that due to farm loan waivers, overall borrowings of the government would go up and that can lead to crowding out private borrowers and increase the cost of borrowings for others.

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She added that she hoped the United Kingdom would remain a good partner after the negotiations. We know when they must end. "Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations".

The offer of an olive branch has coincided with similar efforts to tamp down rural unrest in Madhya Pradesh. He added that in principle approval for loan waiver had been given to all farmers with some conditions.

Small and marginal farmers with land holding up to five acres will not only receive a loan waiver with immediate effect but will also be given fresh loans for the ongoing kharif season.

"Farmers should be freed from loans".

Members of another farmer's organization, Bharatiya Kisan Union, were also planning a strike in India's north. Those present at Sunday's meeting included Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, Transport Minister Diwakar Raote and Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan while the farmers were represented by Raju Shetti, the Peasants and Workers Party's Jayant Patil, Independent MLA Bachchu Kadu and Subhash Deshmukh. I think the two biggest challenges for Modi in the last two years of his term are farmers and young people's aspirations for employment.

Reacting to the news, Dr Dhananjay Dhanvate, a resident of Puntamba, said the unity among farmers made the government bow before them.

Protests expanded into Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra while farmers in Madhya Pradesh continued to demand loan waivers and higher crop prices.

UP will spend almost Rs 36,000 crore on 94 lakh small and marginal farmers while Maharashtra is expected to spend much more than the current estimate of Rs 30,000 crore once "big farmers" are also added in the relief bracket.

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