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Mumbai: Maharashtra government will soon decide on extending the implementation of crop loan waiver deadline beyond March 30. This is because of Coronavirus outbreak and the lock down across the statesman.

The district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) are unable to function and complete necessary formalities including clearing the accounts and infusion of money into the loan account of farmers who are covered under the Mahatma Jyoti Rao Phule Farmer Loan Wavier Scheme.

The scheme is applicable to 35 lakh farmers with crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh with a cut-off date of September 30, 2019. NCP chief Sharad Pawar told FPJ that he has received many calls from the district central cooperative banks and the matter is being discussed with the state government for decision.

‘’DCCBs brought to my notice that due to skeleton staff and lock down, they are unable to function. They have expressed inability to meet the March 30 deadline,’’ he said. Pawar said the government will have to soon take a decision in the larger interest of farmers.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced the crop loan waiver scheme in December last year and subsequently the government made an allocation of Rs 25,000 crore comprising Rs 15,000 crore from the supplementary demand and Rs 10,000 crore through contingency fund for its implementation.

The government had roped in National Payment Corporation of India for the transfer of money into the accounts of beneficiaries in the commercial banks and in the district central cooperative banks.

The government had estimated depositing over Rs 21,210 crore into the loan account of 35 lakh farmers by March 30 or latest by mid-April.

However, with the imposition of statewide curfew and minimum staff in the DCCBs, the government is expected to reschedule the time required to deposit the money into the loan accounts of beneficiaries.

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