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Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar slams BJP for opposing farm loan waiver


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Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar took a dig at the BJP on Sunday, saying its government at the Centre had funds for recapitalisation of banks, but was unwilling to support the farm loan waiver announced by its government in Maharashtra.

Speaking at Solapur, he said, “Some people (in the Union government) were unhappy with the BJP-led state government’s loan waiver scheme for farmers. Then, what is the source of the Rs 80,000 crore that the Centre is putting into banks?” The former Union agriculture minister further demanded that the state government come up with a complete farm loan waiver scheme, instead of the current one where the loan of just one member per family was eligible for waiver.

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Attacking the Centre, he claimed that the country’s growth rate had dipped and that both industrial and agricultural production had slowed down. The Union government is tying up a plan to pump in Rs 80,000 crore into the public-sector banks to help them tide over the loans that have turned into non-performing assets (NPAs).

The Maharashtra government had, in June last year, announced a Rs 34,020-crore farm loan waiver scheme and claimed that it would benefit more than 50 lakh farmers in the state. However, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said around the same time that the Union government would not bear the cost of this loan waiver.