Mumbai: The Maharashtra government’s revised farm loan waiver norms, which will increase the number of beneficiaries, will cost the state an additional Rs 500 crore, an official said today. The state government has already spent Rs 15,882 crore for the implementation of its ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana’, designed for crop loan waiver, which was announced in June last year.
The government had then pegged the total loan waiver amount at around Rs 34,000 crore. Around 58 lakh farmers are currently covered under the scheme, the state government said during the Maharashtra Assembly’s monsoon session held last month.
The state government expanded the scope of the loan waiver scheme last month by extending its benefits to every member of the farmer’s family in case of them having separate loan accounts. Earlier, the state government had considered the farmer’s family as one unit, eligible to claim waiver of Rs 1.50 lakh agricultural debt.
However, it had left those families dissatisfied where there were multiple people having outstanding loans, a state government official said. “We want to address this unrest among farmers, so norms for loan waiver implementation have been changed. But going by our assessment, the additional burden would not be more than Rs 500 crore,” the official said. “After the revised norms, the total number of farmers who would benefit from the loan waiver scheme would not be more than 65 lakh,” he added.