CM Devendra Fadnavis: Will you guarantee no farmer deaths after loan waiver?

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CM Devendra Fadnavis: Will you guarantee no farmer deaths after loan waiver?

"The Congress-NCP government only gave out Rs 7,000 crore in packages for farmers, but in the past 30 months, we have given more than Rs 31,000 crore for farmers".

"Today, 30,500 crore loan by 31 lakh farmers is overdue in Maharashtra".

Responding to a query, the former state Finance Minister said the BJP has not yet taken any decision on granting reservation to Dhangar (shepherd) community though they had promised to do so in first Cabinet meeting after coming to power.

In an attempt to end the deadlock in Maharashtra legislature over crop loan waiver, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, accompanied by a delegation of Shiv Sena members of his cabinet, met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi on Friday.

Both Shiv Sena and opposition Congress -Nationalist Congress Party were aggressive over farmers loan and continuously demanded to announce waiver for farmers. "We have been demanding loan waivers for the past week and this statement by the chief minister is totally politically-motivated", he said.

He said extending a loan waiver to bail out farmers reeling in debt can not be a lasting solution. Your are just shedding crocodile tears.

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"We are not opposed to farm loan waiver". In case the debt is not serviced, then these farmers will be out of institutional credit, he said, adding that the NDA government has been trying to increase capital expenditure in the agriculture sector, including drought relief. "The measures that we have initiated are aimed at taking the state's farm economy from debt to investment", Fadnavis said.

Earlier, speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Shiv Sena leader and MLA Anil Kadam said, the State Government should get financial assistance from the Centre within next two days for announcing the loan waiver. We have spent Rs2,000 crore on crop insurance, Rs8,000 crore on compensation to farmers hit by natural calamities, and Rs11,500 crore on raising farm productivity.

To prove his point that loan waiver has not worked in resolving farmers' problems, a combative Fadnavis cited that after a waiver was granted in 2009, almost 16,000 farmers committed suicide over the past year.

The Chief Minister charged that the Congress-NCP wants the loan waiver to help district co-operative banks run by them and which are involved in irregularities.

"It means that the loan waiver offer had achieved some success". "The State Government is honest about intentions vis-a-vis the farm loan waiver".

Later, Congress Member of Legislative Council Sanjay Dutt said that if the Centre is prepared to bear the burden of farm loans in Uttar Pradesh, why discriminate against Maharashtra farmers. "This is why we are now demanding that the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra should also take the similar action", he said.

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