Mega agricultural loan waiver placates farmers in Maharashtra

Farmer leaders across Maharashtra announced the end of their eleven-day long agitation after the State government made several assurances on Sunday to placate them, including a blanket and instant loa

Published: 12th June 2017 01:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2017 04:48 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers spilling milk on the road during their state-wide strike over various demands at a village in Ahmednagar Maharashtra.(File | PTI)

Express News Service

BHOPAL/MUMBAI: Farmer leaders across Maharashtra announced the end of their eleven-day long agitation after the State government made several assurances on Sunday to placate them, including a blanket and instant loan waiver.

“The government principally agreed to all demands, including blanket and immediate loan waiver,” said Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil.

“Small and marginal farmers will now start getting loans from Monday, and a committee will be formed to decide criteria for loan waiver of other farmers.”

The government, according to Patil, also agreed to withdraw all cases against farmers, except those involving theft and damage. It also agreed to lead a delegation of farmers to the Centre, with a demand to implement recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. However, leaders of the protest warned that July 25 was the deadline for the government to fully implement all promises.

Meanwhile, with no violence reported in the State over the last 72 hours, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan called off his fast for peace on Sunday — after 28 hours.

The fast, dubbed by Opposition as ‘five-star upwaas’, managed to win over the Bhartiya Kisan Union, as Chouhan agreed to constitute Agro Products Cost and Marketing Commission to determine cost-based market prices for farmers’ produce.

However, other major outfits have said the ‘peaceful stir’ will continue till other demands, including promise of 1.5 times higher prices than cost for produce and loan waiver to the tune of `45,000 crore, are met.

Many social activists, including Swami Agnivesh, Medha Patkar and Yogendra Yadav, were stopped from entering Mandsaur to meet relatives of deceased farmers, as prohibitory orders continue to be clamped on violence-hit districts. However, curfew clamped in two areas of Mandsaur district was lifted totally on Sunday morning.

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