MP Cabinet Approves Farm Loan Waivers, Extends Cut-Off Date

The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet on Saturday, 5 January, gave its nod to waive crop loans of 55 lakh farmers in the state while extending the eligibility cut-off date to 12 December 2018 from previous 31 March 2018.

Under the scheme, farm loans up to two lakh taken by farmers from nationalised, cooperative and regional banks, will be waived.

The crop loan waiver, a poll promise of the Congress, was announced hours after Kamal Nath took oath as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh in December 2018.

Also Read: ‘We Did it in 2 Days’: Rahul After Rajasthan Waives Farm Loans Too

The previous cut-off date of 31 March 2018, announced by the newly-formed government, was criticised by the opposition BJP, which said it would effectively mean many farmers staying out of the ambit of the loan waiver scheme.

Addressing a press conference after the Cabinet meeting in Bhopal, Minister for Public Relations P C Sharma and his ministerial colleague Jitu Patwari said the benefits of the farm loan waiver would start reaching the farmers from 22 February 2019.

Who Would Benefit from the Waivers?

He said farm loan defaulters from 1 April 2007 are included under the ambit of the scheme. The ministers said the loan waiver would benefit about 55 lakh eligible farmers, including about 35 lakh small and marginal agriculturists.

"Farm loans taken from cooperative, regional and nationalised banks are included under the purview of this scheme," Patwari said.

Responding to a question, the minister said the cost of entire farm loan waiver scheme to the state exchequer is yet to be calculated.

Also Read: Farm Loan Waivers Won’t Work Without Proper Prices, Say Experts 

"As per rough estimates, this scheme would cost somewhere between Rs 35,000 – Rs 50,000-crore," Patwari said. He said the chief executive officer of every block would be responsible for implementation of the loan waiver scheme.

Forms to be Filled by Eligible Farmers

"Eligible farmers will need to fill different forms as per the identity proofs they are having. A green form would be filled by those who have Aadhaar card and white form by those farmers who possess identity proofs other than Aadhaar card. Farmers not having any ID proof will have to fill a pink-coloured form," he explained.

Patwari said the farmers who pay income tax, and those who are government employees, are not eligible to claim the loan waivers.

He said the Cabinet has also cleared a proposal to increase the financial assistance provided under the ‘KanyadanYojana’ to Rs 51,000 from previous Rs 28,000.

Under the Kanyadan Yojana, the government provides financial assistance for marriage of women from poor families.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has termed the extension of the farm loan waiver cut-off date as a victory of the BJP and farmers in the state.

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