BHOPAL: Loans taken by farmers till December 17, i.e, the date when Kamal Nath took oath as chief minister, might be waived off by the new government. The new cabinet met on Thursday to take up waiver of farmers’ loan. The ministers claimed that fixing March 31, as the cut off date for waiving farmers’ loan was sending a wrong message. “It is sending the message that government is not keen to fulfill promises made in its Vachan Patra,” said a minister.
Soon after assuming the office of chief minister, Nath had ordered to waive farmers’ loan taken till March 31, 2018. This has led to the BJP accusing the Congress-led state government of not keeping its promises. During agriculture department’s presentation in Cabinet meeting, ministers demanded that loans of all farmers be waived. They said that the decision of having March 31 as cut-off date would only benefit farmers, who had defaulted on loan repayment.
A proposal to award incentive to farmers, who had repaid their loan too was mooted. Nath approved of the proposal and asked officers to table final draft of loan waiver in Cabinet meeting on Feb 5. Agriculture department officers said that Rs 9,000 crore would be required to waive loans up to Rs 2 lakh taken by 22 lakh farmers from cooperative banks. The CM directed officers to hold talks with officials of nationalized banks.