Cabinet bonanza for voters & loan waiver for farmers

Mumbai: In a move to appease farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, the state cabinet decided to waive off farm loans taken from out of jurisdiction moneylenders. The Chief Minister and other key ministers are from Vidarbha, and it may favour the BJP in upcoming assembly election.

Farmers till now could avail the benefit of waivers of loans from banks or government-approved sources. After the cabinet decision, the amount around Rs100 crore loaned by private licensed moneylenders out of their prescribed areas will now be waived off.

The state in 2015 had announced to waive off the loans availed by farmers from licensed private money lenders. But many farmers have got the loans from the moneylenders who are not allowed to give loan in the area they are residing.

The farmers were disqualified from the loan waiver scheme announced by the state. Now, the loans given by such money-lenders to farmers up to 30 November 2014 will be waived off.

The district level committee, headed by collectors, will decide one each case as per this new policy. The moneylender will be reimbursed with his loaned amount and interest on it. This scheme will be in operation till March 31, 2020.

The Maharashtra cabinet on Monday cleared 37 proposals, including issuing tenders worth Rs3,122 crore for water grid projects in Osmanabad and Latur. It also sanctioned the formation of a sub-committee to oversee plans to construct a memorial for former PM late AB Vajpayee in Mumbai.

The cabinet also decided to set up 16 new commercial courts in Mumbai. It also decided to implement the ‘State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART)’ project assisted by the World Bank.

The state has decided to transfer the benefits of 13 schemes through direct benefit transfer (DBT). The government will spend Rs2,100 crore with the help of World Bank.

A new quota or parallel reservation will be established in government colleges for the MBBS course aimed at those signing a bond agreeing to work with the state government for a longer period between 7 to 10 years. Presently, students have to spend a year in rural Maharashtra as internship.

Four irrigation projects in Jalgaon and one in Thane’s Shahapur were given improved administrative approval. The cabinet also decided to implement the CM Awas Yojana for patients affected by leprosy.

A decision to establish Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) for divyang individuals was also taken, as well as centres for excellence in mental asylums in Thane, Pune and Nagpur to develop curriculum related to mental health.

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