Farm loan waiver by UP government not adequate: Congress

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Farm loan waiver by UP government not adequate: Congress

New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) The Congress said on Tuesday that the Rs 36,359 crore farm loan waiver announced by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh will not free farmers from debt or provide them adequate relief.

Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the farm loan waiver was a step in the right direction but inadequate.

Noting 2.15 crore of the state’s 2.33 crore farmers were either marginal or small and 64.14 lakh farmers had pending loans – either crop or term loans – of Rs 86,241 crore from commercial banks and Rs 6,000 crore from cooperative banks, he said that the Yogi Adiyanath government had announced loan waiver of up to one lakh on crop loan for 86 lakh farmers of the state.

“This incomplete measure will neither help farmers get rid of their loans nor will it provide them relief. The sword of term loan will keep hanging for a farmer. That was not what was promised to the farmers. The promise was to waive off the all the debt of marginal and small farmers of the state,” he said.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday cleared a Rs 36,359 crore proposal for waiving farmers’ loans.

The waiver applies to Rs 30,729 crore of loans taken by these farmers against seeds for wheat and paddy crops, besides pesticides and fertilisers. The government also decided to write off loans amounting to Rs 5,630 crore of around seven lakh farmers who had defaulted and bore the non-performing asset tag.

Surjewala said the Uttar Pradesh government had not so far fulfilled its promise to sugar farmers and the arrears were Rs 153 crore in 2014-15, Rs 599 crore in 2015-16, and Rs 6,561 crore in 2016-17.

The BJP had promised loan waiver to marginal farmers in its manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the decision on loan waiver will be taken at the first meeting of the state cabinet.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.