NAGPUR: The Maharashtra government today tabled a supplementary demand of Rs 26,402.32 crore, of which Rs 15,000 crore is for its flagship farm loan waiver scheme, in the Legislative Assembly on the first day of the winter session today.
This is the second time that Devendra Fadnavis government placed supplementary demands of such high amount before the House after the last monsoon session.
The demand will be discussed subsequently during the session.
When grants, authorised by the legislature, fall short of the required expenditure, an estimate is presented before the House for additional funds.
The Opposition had objected to the tabling of the supplementary demands while expressing its concern over the state's financial condition.
"Maharashtra government is ready to discuss the loan waiver with Opposition leaders. The scheme will ensure that each and every farmer is benefited. The Opposition must remember that till now we have paid more money (to farmers) than what you had paid through the 2008 loan waiver," Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Lower House.
The BJP-led NDA government had announced a loan waiver of Rs 34,022 crore following unprecedented protests by farmers in June this year.
Out of the total Rs 15,000 crore meant for the loan waiver, Rs 1,000 crore will come from Tribal Area Sub Plan while the same amount will be used specifically for tribal farmers. Besides, Rs 1000 crore are allotted for the Scheduled Caste farmers from the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan.
The move to take money from the SC/ST Sub-Plan is likely to attract the ire of opposition and activists as the government has already taken Rs 1500 crore (Rs 500 crore from SC Sub-Plan and Rs 1000 crore from ST Sub-Plan) from the allocated money for these sections in the monsoon session's supplementary demands.
With state Cooperation department being the implementing agency for the scheme, Rs 13,000 crore has been allocated for it.
The implementation of the loan waiver, known as 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana', has been riddled with hiccups since farmers had to submit online application to avail the benefit.
The government initially struggled to put the online system in place and ensure its flawless working. During the scrutiny, the government detected a huge number of ghost accounts of farmers, forcing it to whittle down the number of actual beneficiaries.
The Opposition Congress and NCP had accused the government of failing to hand over the money to farmers.