Deshmukh for relaxation in farmer loan waiver criterion

March 5th, 2008 - 8:17 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh Wednesday sought a revision in the criteria for loan waiver to farmers, saying only 76 percent of farmers will benefit from the concession announced by the central government in then national budget 2007-08. Deshmukh said the proposed loan waiver announced for farmers by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram was historic, but would not benefit all farmers if the farmers’ eligibility criterion was not increased up to a minimum five hectares.

The government in its annual budget Feb 29 announced the one-time loan waiver of a whopping Rs.600 billion to cover an estimated 40 million small and marginal Indian farmers possessing two hectares of land.

“I am pursuing the matter with the government and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and hope some positive result will come out,” Deshmukh told reporters after meeting Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to finalise the annual plan outlay for Maharashtra.

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