New UP govt will waive farm loans: Agri Minister in LS

New Delhi: The newly elected BJP government in Uttar Pradesh will waive loans of farmers in the state and the burden of loan waiver would be borne by the Centre, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said.

During a discussion on the demands for grants for agriculture in the Lok Sabha, Dushyant Chuatala (INLD) said the BJP had promised farm loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh but the Finance Ministry was saying that the RBI felt that it will have negative impact.

Reacting to the remark, Singh intervened to say that in some states, “we provide 3 per cent interest subvention and the states provide subvention for the remaining 4 per cent.”

“For Uttar Pradesh, we had said that if we form government in the state, we will waive loans of farmers. The cost would be borne by the central exchequer,” Singh said in his intervention.

Singh dismissed Chautala’s allegation of “double standards” being adopted by the Centre saying “if some state is providing interest subvention for farmers, that should be appreciated”.

As Chautala pressed further saying that BJP was also ruling in Haryana and Maharashtra but why were these states not providing farm loan waiver, Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai said “it was in state election manifesto. It is not in Lok Sabha poll manifesto… The state assembly will take it up”.

In the run up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, BJP in its manifesto had promised to waive off loans of small and marginal farmers and provide them with zero interest loans. This was repeated Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his election rallies.

The BJP and allies swept 325 seats in the 403 member UP assembly — the biggest victory in the state by any party in four decades.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge too joined the debate on farm loan waiver to say that “since it is Modi Government, Modi should do it for the entire country”.

To this, Thambidurai said “Modi is the Prime Minister and not the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In states where Congress Governmenrt is in power, how can Centre do it there”.

Chautala said he wants the BJP-ruled Centre to not just focus on one state but waive farm loans all over the country.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had announed a Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver in 2008 for small and marginal farmers. (PTI)

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