MUMBAI: To bring more farmers under the ambit of the crop loan waiver scheme, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday widened the scope of the scheme to include farmers who availed loans between 2009 and 2012. Initially, the scheme included only those farmers who availed loans between 2012 and 2016.
The government has decided to pass on the benefit of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana to those farmers who had availed loans after 2009 but had not repaid them till 2016. Also, the deadline of the scheme has been extended by one month to July 31, 2017, for the benefit of those who repaid loans regularly, a senior CMO official told The New Indian Express.
Similarly, the one-time settlement (OTS) part of scheme has been given an extension so that farmers would get enough time to gather the amount needed for settlement. Under this part, the government would bear a part of Rs 1.5 lakh of the repayment amount if the farmers decide to repay the rest of the sum in one go.
BJP MLAs Dr Anil Bonde, Dr Ashish Deshmukh, Dr Sanjay Kute and Prashant Bamb met Fadnavis on Wednesday and demanded some changes in the loan waiver scheme to make it more beneficial to farmers. The decision was announced soon after that, the CMO official said. Reacting to reports that the figures released on beneficiaries of the scheme were false, Fadnavis made it clear that there was nothing wrong in those figures released on social media. Those were the figures received from the bank officials, he said. The figures released on Tuesday included a large number of farmers from Mumbai and experts had argued that Mumbai, which did not have much farm land, could not have so many beneficiaries.
“Accusations levelled by the Opposition are false,” Fadnavis said, while a CMO official pointed out that there were beneficiaries from Mumbai even during the previous loan waivers in 2008 and 2009. A senior official from cooperative department, however, said that those beneficiaries of loan waiver from Mumbai might actually be fishermen, as the procedure to obtain loan for them is same as that of the farmers.