UP: Yogi honours his words on loan wave-off

"The Government has chose to waive all the outstanding crop loans due to small and marginal farmers as on March 31, 2017 taken till March 31, 2016 up to a maximum limit of Rs 1 lakh per farmer", Government spokesman and Health Minister Sidharthnath Singh said while briefing reporters after cabinet meeting.

Sources describe the decision as prompt and bold.

Hitting out at the doctors, Adityanath said, "These days the doctors do not even spare a minute for patients, by seeing the report they pen down the medicines and ask the patient to leave".

In all, Rs. 30,729 crore are being waived, said Singh, and the waiver applies to loan amounts of Rs. 1 lakh.

The number of farmers who will benefit from this is around 86 lakhs. Though farm loans mostly comprise crop loan (80%), farmers who took term loan were left out of the announcement.

The Chief Minister said efforts were on to improve law and order in Uttar Pradesh to provide a sense of security to prospective investors. "We will waive farmers' loan in our first cabinet meeting after the results of the UP elections", PM Modi had said.

The Adityanath government was sworn-in on March 19.

Meanwhile, SAD said that the loan waiver promise should not be linked with the demand for a Central package and the state government was finding escape routes to run away from its promise on loan waiver.

They added that it was one of the reasons for putting the cabinet meeting on hold till some way was found to honour the prime minister's poll promise that the BJP government would take a decision on farmers' loan waiver at its first cabinet meeting. That includes 700,000 farmers whose loans were already listed as non-performing by their banks.

BJP's manifesto had promised fresh farm loans at zero percent interest. The Cabinet meeting was also pushed to April to avoid putting pressure on the state in the 2016-2017 financial year. The court had ordered waiver of gold loan also.

Apart from the loan waiver, the government will also form a three-member committee under deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya to look into the crisis faced by potato farmers.

  • Leroy Wright