Rajasthan govt waives loans of up to Rs 50,000

By Times Of India on 13 Feb 2018 | read
JAIPUR: Close on the heels of BJP’s rout in parliamentary and assembly bypolls earlier this month, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday announced a waiver for farm loans up to Rs 50,000 taken by small and marginal farmers.
The waiver was part of the last budget of her government’s term. The sop to woo agitating farmers ahead of the assembly polls, scheduled for the end of the year, will cost the state exchequer Rs 8,000 crore. Raje said 20 lakh farmers would benefit as outstanding loans taken from co-operative banks are waived.

However, the budget makes a provision of only Rs 2,000 crore for the loan waiver. “The provision of Rs 2,000 crore does not mean the government will not require additional funds,” a senior government official told TOI, adding that the remaining Rs 6,000 crore would be passed on to cooperative banks in a staggered manner from next year.

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The BJP-led state government has also earmarked Rs 544 crore for providing shortterm crop loans and interest rate subvention. Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said the loan waiver would not benefit a large segment of the farmers the government is aiming to reach as much of the loans had been provided by scheduled banks.

However, a top source in the state finance department said the majority of the farmers, or around 60%, in the small and marginal category took short-term crop loans from cooperative bank