In a major relief to the farmers during the present coronavirus crisis, the Maharashtra government, on Friday, issued a notification asking banks to provide loans to nearly 11 lakh farmers for the kharif season. These farmers, though are shortlisted in the state government’s much ambitious Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Crop Loan Waiver scheme, could not get the benefit following the lockdown announced since March 24 this year. The government could not transfer Rs 8,100 crore into their loan accounts due to the lockdown and, therefore, has asked the banks to consider them for the entitlement of fresh loan for the ensuing kharif season.
The government had aimed to cover all 32 lakh farmers by depositing Rs 21,000 crore into their loan accounts by May 3. The government has deposited money into the accounts of 21 lakh farmers. In December 2019, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced the scheme to write off outstanding crop loans till September 30, 2019. The amounts will be directly deposited in farmers' accounts, bypassing the earlier process of routing it through the state cooperation minister, who would then send it to the district deputy registrar.
The government, in its notification, has asked the District Central Cooperative Banks to show in the shortlisted farmers’ loan accounts pending to clear debt from the government under the crop loan waiver scheme. The government will clear the loan with interest amount.
Similar instructions were issued to the commercial and rural banks so that farmers, who have yet to get the benefit of crop loan waiver scheme, can avail fresh loan for the kharif season.