Government begins impact assessment

Finance department seeks report from SLBC and Cooperation department on loan outstanding.

Published: 09th July 2017 10:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2017 10:09 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: With the Opposition Congress and BJP taking the farm loan waiver demand to the streets, the State Government has asked the Finance Department to evaluate the possible impact on the State fiscal situation in the event of providing such a relief to farmers.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) of Bargarh and Puri districts during a review meeting here in April to examine the proposal for loan waiver.

Sources in the department said a status report has been sought from the State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) and the Cooperation Department on the loan outstanding on farmers as on March 31, 2017. While crop loan of over `20,000 crore is outstanding against 47 lakh farmers of the State, the defaulted loan amount will be about `8,500 crore.

"The State Government has to take a call on the loan waiver and decide whether the relief will be given to all farmers or only to small and marginal farmers," the sources said.As a large number of farmers have defaulted in their payment, writing off their loan will have negative impact on those who have paid back their loans in time. 

The last loan waiver was announced by the Central Government in 2008. Under the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, over 19.79 lakh farmers who had defaulted their dues to the banks during April 1, 1997 and March 31, 2007 had got a debt relief of `2615.23 crore.Farmers of the State, who sustained crop loss in 2015 kharif session due to drought, were compensated through crop insurance. About 11.60 lakh farmers were paid crop insurance to the tune of `1,776 crore.

The demand for farm loan waiver in the State from the Opposition political parties has become loud after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka governments announced relief for their farmers.

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