Thackeray announces Rs 2 lakh loan waiver for poor farmers

Nagpur: In a significant decision, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday announced a loan waiver for farmers who owe up to Rs 200,000 to banks till September 30 this year.

“This scheme, called ‘Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Loan Waiver Scheme’ will be implemented from March 2020 onwards. The upper limit for the loan waiver will be Rs 2 lakh,” Thackeray told mediapersons.

Thackeray’s much-anticipated and hotly-debated announcement was made on the last day of the winter session of Maharashtra Legislature and was loudly welcomed by the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.

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However, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party termed it as a betrayal of the farmers and leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis demanded 100 per cent debt waiver for the farmers.

The Vasantarao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari, enjoying a Minister of State status, welcomed what he termed “a bold decision with far-reaching ramifications” for the poor farmers of the state.

“It will be given directly to the farmers in a transparent manner and will wipe clean the loans of 90 per cent of the poor peasantry, particularly those falling in the suicide-prone zones. The remaining are the ‘creamy layer’ farmers who availed of big loans and also have the capacity to repay,” Tiwari told IANS.

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