UP Farmers Get Loan Waiver Cheques From Re 1 to Rs 18

UP Farmers Get Loan Waiver Cheques From Re 1 to Rs 18”

"You know I want to go to the bank manager and shout at him and ask him why he gave my name for this farm loan waiver", says an angry Shambhu Nath outside his mud and thatch hut in Barabanki's Jata village.

"On Monday, the district administration distributed loan waiver certificates to around 6,000 farmers out of which at least 250 farmers have got waivers of less than Rs100. we are not yet clear why the amounts are so low", said Devendra Gandhi, a rights activist from Hamirpur.

Hundreds of farmers - big and small - have similarly been left bewildered as the Uttar Pradesh government headed by chief minister Yogi Adityanath follows up on its poll promise of waving farm loans up to Rs 1 lakh to ease agriculture distress in the state's rural hinterland. Only in the case of Shivpal, a farmer who had taken a loan Rs 93,000 for buying seeds and fertilisers, was the waiver of some value - Rs 20,271, though it is only a fraction of his debt and his expectation.

Farmers in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also demanding waiver of crop loans alongside higher crop support prices. In April, Chief Minister Adityanath announced a farm loan waiver till Rs 1 lakh for loans taken before March 2016. Had he not returned the money, bank officials admit, he would have got a full loan waiver like many other defaulters.

"I was shocked to see the certificate of waiver of Rs 10.37 given to me in Hamirpur". Total loans to be waived is estimated at Rs36,359 crore and the scheme is expected to benefit 8.6 million farmers. "I fall in the category of small and marginal farmer".

Of those Rs 218, Rs 30 were spent on auto fare for the 15 km journey from his village to Barabanki town to attend a massive government loan waiver function - an Uttar Pradesh government minister presided over it - and Rs 200 his daily labour wages. Other opposition leaders insinuated that measly amounts were being waived just to inflate the number of beneficiaries and make the government look good.

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) had earlier this year rode to resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections on the promise of waiving loans of small an dmarginal farmers.

Another farmer, Babulal, also complained of receiving a loan waiver certificate of Rs 28,000 while he had a loan of Rs 50,000. "Now we have waived only that amount and issued certificates accordingly", he explained.

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