Maharashtra government announces loan waiver

Maharashtra government announces loan waiver”

Rural experts have long urged the government to build more roads and markets closer to villages and storage facilities that will make it possible for them to sell produce at better prices when there is a bumper crop instead of resorting to distress sales as has happened this year.

"There is a strong pro-consumer bias in the system", said agriculture economist Ashok Gulati at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi.

"More importantly, as these schemes seem to have yielded electoral gains, similar announcements could be made in other states as well". That is what the government does not want. He said in a tweet that those "politicising" the issue were not concerned about the welfare of farmers.

Jaitley's statement asking the states to arrange for their own funds to waive farmer loans comes at a time when at least three BJP-ruled states - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh - are considering the move. "Our members have already started staging protests outside offices of district authorities in Haryana", senior leader, Dharmendra Malik, said by phone from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. "Those who are politicising it can not do good to either the country or farmers", Singh tweeted. "If this government does not live up to its promises by 25 July, then we will call a strike from 26 July", he said. MSPs are announced at the beginning of sowing season for certain crops on the recommendation by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and announced by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the prime minister.

Police had said suicides by all the four farmers were due to non-payment of loans from banks and private money lenders.

Still, farmers such as Sanjay Shinde from Maharashtra's Nashik district are unhappy. At present, only paddy, wheat and sugarcane get the right MSP. "That's how one can bring down the inventory level of food grains", says Nitin Kalantri, a miller at Latur in Maharashtra.

The Maharashtra government has said that it will form a committee to decide the criteria to waive off the loans.

It was moral victory for farmers who had gone on strike last week in support of their demands that included loan waiver, pension and free power.

Panjab Singh, President of the agri think tank - the National Academy of Agriculture Sciences - said the ongoing farmers protests could be politically motivated. "While there may be a political aspect to farmers' protests too, rising agri debt when agri income growth is slowing is likely a supporting factor". "The mechanism for the same will be worked out with the help of the committee", he said.

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