Farm loan waiver will not be repeated: Pawar

March 8th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by admin  

Beed (Maharashtra), March 8 (IANS) The farm loan waiver announced in the union budget was a one-time affair which will not be repeated, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said Saturday. Addressing a farmers’ rally in Beed district of Marathwada, around 600 km from Mumbai, Pawar said the loan waiver was meant to ensure that farmers could clear their outstanding dues by June this year.

This would enable them to apply for fresh loans for the ensuing monsoon agricultural season. “However, there will be no more loan waivers, it cannot be a norm,” he declared.

About those farmers who have pledged their valuables and property to avail loans, Pawar said that their plight might be considered, but he declined to make any commitment over the issue.

Explaining the benefits of the loan waiver in Maharashtra, he said farmers in the state would benefit to the tune of around Rs.10,063 crore (Rs.100.63 billion) from the total package of Rs.60,000 crore (Rs.600 billion).

From this, farmers in the backward Marathwada region would benefit up to Rs.2,918 crore (Rs.29.18 billion), western Maharashtra up to Rs.2,766 crore (Rs.27.66 billion), northern Khandesh region up to Rs.2,445 crore (Rs.24.45 billion), eastern region of Vidarbha up to Rs.1,728 crore (Rs.17.28 billion), and coastal Konkan region up to Rs.206 crore (Rs.2.06 billion).

This was the last of a series of farmers rallies organised by Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the wake of the loan waiver scheme announced in the budget. The other rallies were in Akola, Kolhapur, Jalgaon, Nagpur, and Navi Mumbai.

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