The Maharashtra government had agreed to a farm loan waiver earlier this month after a 11-day strike by farmers.
MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday announced a Rs. 34,000 crore loan relief for farmers, saying all individual loans by farmers below Rs. 1.5 lakh will be waived.
“The scheme will benefit 89 lakh farmers, making 40 lakh debt-free,” he said.
Earlier this month, Mr Fadnavis had agreed to forgive all loans by farmers who in turn ended an 11-day strike that had sent prices of vegetables and produce sharply higher.
“We will try to look for ways to lessen the impact of this loan waiver on fiscal deficit,” he said today.
Maharashtra’s public debt is set to cross 4 lakh crore by the next March and will up spending more than 31,000 crores just to pay interest on its debt.
Following the announcement, RBI Governor Urjit Patel had pointed out what he called the risks of going down the “slippery path”. He said it could dissipate the fiscal gains made by states over the last few years and asked the state governments to “tread very carefully”.
Besides Maharashtra, several other state governments had announced large and small loan waivers for farmers.
In April, the Yogi Adityanath government announced a 36,000 crore farm loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh that it had promised in the run-up to the elections.