Will seek more central assistance for Maharashtra farmers: Fadnavis

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar. 16 (ANI): Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday assured the Maharashtra Assembly that a state government delegation will be meeting Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh for assistance in the agriculture sector.

Addressing the Maharashtra Assembly, Fadnavis said the economy is focused on agriculture, investment and increasing agriculture productivity and not just relief and rehabilitation.

"I want to assure the farmers of the state that we are with them and reiterate our commitment to make them debt free. We will unite, bring all parties together and meet the Government of India to seek more assistance for farmers of the state," he said.

Accusing the opposition of playing politics on such an important and sensitive issue, the Chief Minister said almost 16,000 farmers committed suicide in spite of the loan waiver in five years.

"The non-investment in agriculture sector for many years by previous governments has given rise to farmers' sufferings," he added.

Fadnavis reiterated that his government was not opposed to farm loan waiver but wanted the decision in favour of farmers.

"Today, 30,500 crore loan by 31 lakh farmers is overdue in Maharashtra. We are spending 19,434 crore as an investment for agriculture. Government of Maharashtra gave 2000crore for insurance, 8000 crore as assistance for natural calamities, 1500 crore on various agricultural schemes. Thus, an equal amount of 30,500 crore is already being spent for betterment of farmers and agriculture by our Government," he added.

He further said investment in agriculture is the need of the hour for farmers along with the loan waiver.

"Even those farmers who got benefited from loan waiver are not considered as creditworthy by the banks. Earlier, the government gave loan waiver of 7000 crore and deposited in banks. But we gave 8000 crore directly in farmers' account towards drought relief," he added. (ANI)