Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday extended the cut-off date for farm loan waivers from March 31 to December 12, 2018.
After assuming power in Madhya Pradesh in December, Chief Minister Kamal Nath had spelt out details of the scheme saying only loan amount outstanding as on March 31, 2018, will be eligible for the waiver.
The Opposition BJP in the state had accused the Congress government of taking farmers for a ride by promising loan waiver to all in its poll campaign but leaving many beneficiaries out after coming to power.
Cabinet Minister Jitu Patwari said government employees and income taxpayers will not be eligible for the loan waiver scheme. Kamal Nath had signed the loan waiver file immediately after he was sworn-in on December 17.
A farm loan waiver and more jobs in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh were among the Congress's top promises in the poll campaign, reiterated in most public speeches and in the manifestos.
The loan waiver in MP is expected to cost the state exchequer around Rs 35,000-Rs 38,000 crore and benefit close to 34 lakh farmers.