Devendra Fadnavis lists numbers of farm loan waiver beneficiaries
Mumbai: Farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada, epicentres of the agrarian crisis in Maharashtra, are likely to outnumber counterparts from other regions of the state in getting benefits of the farm loan waiver announced by the state government.
On Tuesday, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted district-wise numbers of farmers who are likely to get their farm loans waived under the Rs34,022 crore scheme.
Fadnavis tweeted that these 3.6 million farmers are those with loans up to Rs1.5 lakh, the cap fixed by the state government for the waiver.
Last week, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had demanded that information about beneficiary farmers be made public. The Fadnavis government has claimed that around 4 million farmers will see their loans waived while an additional 4.9 million farmers will benefit from other provisions of the package.
A state government official, who is working on the implementation of the loan waiver scheme, told Mint that more details will be released soon by the government. “Names are being checked and cleared under every provision of the scheme. We want to make this loan waiver the most transparent and effective scheme of its kind,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
The chief minister also clarified that the government would carry out due diligence to establish the credentials of eligible farmers before the loan waiver benefit is actually extended to them. Among the 3.6 million farmers, more than 2.2 million are from the 19 districts in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, while the remaining are from the other 16 districts of the state.
Incidentally, the districts of Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban have 694 and 119 farmers on the list of likely beneficiaries, respectively. When this was pointed out to the chief minister by reporters, he said the list only had the numbers of farmers “proposed to be included in the loan waiver”.
“Even I was a bit surprised to find farmers in Mumbai. But this is only a proposed list of farmers and the government would do all necessary checks before releasing the benefits,” he assured reporters.
The CM also tweeted that these 3.6 million farmers did not include those who had repaid their loans and who were likely to get benefits of either a one-time settlement scheme or grant of Rs25,000. The list also does not include farmers whose loans have been restructured.
Government employees who have their names on the 7/12 extracts (documentary proof of agricultural land ownership) but who are not dependent on agriculture, farmer-traders who pay income tax, and elected representatives have been excluded from the loan waiver scheme.
Buldhana district in Vidarbha has the maximum number of farmers on the list—249,818. Outside Mumbai, Palghar district has the lowest number—918 farmers. Yavatmal district in Vidarbha, which has reported a large number of farm suicides over the years, has more than 2.42 lakh farmers on the list, followed by Beed district in Marathwada with more than 2 lakh farmers. The districts of Ahmednagar and Nashik, which witnessed farmer unrest in June, have more than 2 lakh and 1.36 lakh farmers, respectively, on the list.
Outside Vidarbha and Marathwada, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon and Pune districts account for the highest number of farmers who will likely get the benefit.