New Delhi: Seeking to allay apprehensions of members on farm loan waiver, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on 25 April “every” suggestion made on the ambitious scheme was under examination.
“Every suggestion is under examination,” he said replying to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha on the farm loan waiver scheme.
Members had asked the minister whether the government was considering seeking increasing the land holding limit from two hectares to five hectares for farmers to be eligible for the scheme.
“I can only do what is doable and afforadable,” Chidambaran said in reply to demands from several members to consider extending the scheme to farmers with landholdings upto five hectares.
“The loans will be waived by 30 June, 2008,” he said.
On concerns that banks were not sanctioning loans to farmers citing the scheme, Chidambaram said the banks were being sensitized to the matter.
The minister said he has convened a meeting of chairmen and managing directors of all banks in the first week of May to discuss writing off agricultural debts.
Chidambaram said RBI guidelines on the loan waiver were being formulated.
BJP member Haribhau Rathod, who had put the main question, pointed out that the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and “Yuvraj (Rahul) Gandhi” had made some suggestions regarding the scheme.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had on 21 April ruled out taking “new responsibilities” like increasing the coverage of farm loan waiver scheme until the present package to write off Rs 60,000 crore agriculture debts is implemented.
Days after the budgetary announcement, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had specifically suggested that there should not be one landholding ceiling nor should there be a single cut-off date.