MUMBAI: Farmer leaders in Maharashtra on Monday fell out with the group of ministers who are finalizing the eligibility criteria for the loan waiver announced by the state government.
Angry members of the steering committee of farmers burnt copies of the government resolution pledging to give interim advance of Rs 10,000 and demanded that the government should come up with new criteria by the time the group of ministers meet them again.
“We expected the government to stick to their word. The terms and conditions they have mentioned in the resolution are too harsh. It appears as if the government doesn’t want to disburse the advance at all,” Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti said after the meeting.
Farmer leaders also opposed the government’s proposal to put a cap of Rs 1 lakh on the loan waiver. “How can they do so when the basic farm loan for vineyards is Rs 1,50,000,” Shetti asked.
However, revenue minister Chandrakant Patil said the decision to waive crop loans up to Rs l lakh and for farmers who have a landholding of less than 5 acres of land has been agreed to at the meeting.
“Farmer leaders have put forth a demand for a special package for farmers who have been regularly repaying crop loans and they wanted to do away with the cap on loan waiver,” the minister said, adding a decision on these demands would be made at the next meeting.