LUCKNOW: Fulfilling its promise of waiving off farmers’ loans in its first Cabinet meeting, the BJP government on Tuesday announced a Rs 36,000-crore waiver package for small and marginal famers with a land holding of 5 acre and less.
As per the decision taken at the Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, loans of up to Rs 1 lakh taken by 86 lakh of 2.15 crore small and marginal farmers till March 31, 2017, would be waived. Besides, the government will also waive over 7 lakh NPAs, incurring a total expenditure of Rs 36,359 crore.
UP has around 2.30 crore farmers of which 92.5 per cent (2.15 crore) are small and marginal who will stand benefitted with the cabinet decision. The state government will have to bear a burden over around Rs 36,000 crore to repay these loans on farmers’ behalf to various banks including cooperative.
“We will raise the waived amount through the State’s own resources by floating Kisan Rahat Bonds in the wake of the provisions of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003,” said government spokesman Siddharth Nath Singh while addressing mediapersons after the State’s first Cabinet meeting.
“As per the FRBM Act provisions, the State’s fiscal deficit cannot be more than three per cent of its GDP. So we have tried to balance the fiscal deficit by raising the money through Kisan Rahat bonds,” Singh maintained.
He, however, clarified that the decision would be implemented immediately after getting it passed in the upcoming budget session of the State Assembly. The other major proposal to get the Cabinet’s approval was setting up of 5,000 wheat procurement centres across the State.
Fulfilling its other poll promise, the Yogi cabinet moved to set the wheat procurement target of 80 lakh tonne in the current fiscal of which the government aims at purchasing 40 lakh tonne in the first phase. The State government has made the provision of giving Rs 10 per quintal as loading charge over the MSP of Rs 1625 per quintal to the farmers. It has been made clear that at the procurement centres, all the purchases will be done by the farmers themselves instead of the involvement of any middleman.
“The money will directly be credited to the bank accounts of the farmers on the basis of their Aadhar Card,” said the government spokesman. Prominent among other major proposals approved by Yogi cabinet, included cabinet’s stamp on regularisation of illegal slaughterhouses. The state government claimed that it had closed down only 26 illegal slaughterhouses across the state so far. While it decided to redress the issues related to licensing process and renewal of expired licences of meat sellers, the cabinet reiterated its resolve to implement SC order and the recommendations of National Green Tribunal (NGT) in letter and spirit in curb the illegal meat trade in the state. Apart from approving the phenomenon of anti-romeo Squads for the safety of women, the Cabinet also set up a three-member ministerial committee to take care of the interest of potato growers.