Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and other ministers before the presentation of state budget 2020-21, at assembly premises, in Mumbai on Friday.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and other ministers before the presentation of state budget 2020-21, at assembly premises, in Mumbai on Friday.
BL Soni

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, in a bid to address the agrarian crisis and thereby revive the sector, has proposed an expansion of crop loan waiver scheme, additional investment in the crop insurance scheme and irrigation development, promotion of drip irrigation across the state and new power connections to the agricultural pump sets.

The government under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule crop loan waiver scheme, which expects to cover 35 lakh farmers with loan up to Rs 2 lakh with a cut off date of September 30, 2019, has so far transferred Rs 9,035 crore in the loan accounts of 13,88,000 farmers while the authentication of 15,45,000 has been done.

The government has proposed two additional schemes for the farmers having arrears of more than Rs 2 lakh in respect of principal and interest of crop loan/restructured loan taken during April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2019, the government will give benefit of Rs 2 lakh in respect of loan outstanding on September 30 last year as one-time settlement. The government will pay Rs 2 lakh to the eligible farmers after the outstanding amount above Rs 2 lakh is repaid by them.

Further, the government also announced a scheme to incentivise the farmers, who are regularly repaying the loans. In respect of farmers who have regularly repaid up to June 30, 2020, the crop loan taken during 2017-18 to 2019-20, maximum Rs 50,000 will be given to such farmers as an incentive for the amount of crop loan taken during 2018-19. However, if the amount of crop loan in 2018-19 is less than Rs 50,000 and if it is fully repaid, such farmers will be given incentive benefit equal to the amount of crop loan actually taken in 2018-19.

The government has appointed a study group to suggest improvement in crop insurance scheme and whether compensation for damages from wildlife can be included in the scheme. The government has proposed an outlay of Rs 2,034 crore for crop insurance scheme.

In order to complete long pending 313 irrigation projects, the government has proposed Rs 10,235 crore in 2020-21. The government will extend the drip irrigation scheme for all over the state. Under the scheme, the government gives 80% subsidy to small and marginal farmers and 75% subsidy for multiple landholders to set up drip irrigation for the crops other than sugarcane.

The government proposes to provide new power connections for agricultural pumps by seeking a loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Moreover, the government has proposed an expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore to provide five lakh solar agricultural pumps in the next five years to provide electricity during day time. It has proposed an outlay of Rs 670 crore in 2020-21.

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