BHOPAL: With an eye on the Lok Sabha polls, the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh decided on Saturday to extend the cut-off date of farm loan waivers from March 31, 2018 to December 12, 2018.
The move brings over 20 lakh more farmers within the ambit of the loan waiver scheme that was previously decided by the new government.
Cabinet was chaired by Chief Minister Kamal Nath in Bhopal on Saturday where the proposal was approved. Loans taken from nationalised, cooperative and regional rural banks will be eligible to be waived off.
On December 17, just a couple of hours after being sworn-in as CM, Nath had signed the file pertaining to the short-term farm loan waiver. It pertained to waiving off all short-term farm loans (of both defaulter and current farmers) worth up to Rs 2 lakh as on March 31, 2018. The decision envisaged benefitting around 34 lakh farmers at a cost of around Rs 38,000 crore.
However, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), particularly former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan made it a political issue, questioning the date. He accused the Congress government of hoodwinking farmers over the issue by adopting a filtration approach while deciding who would be benefitted.