Maharashtra today demanded waiver of farm loans worth Rs 30,500 crore in the state, stating that the move will help in retaining farmers in the institutional credit system. A delegation led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and senior ministers, including collegues from ally Shiv Sena, met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and emphasised that it does not want the Centre to take the entire burden of the debt. S The demand to waive off farm loans from the state comes a day after the Agriculture Minister told the Lok Sabha that the Centre will bear the cost of the promised farm loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh. Back in the state, Fadnavis has been facing a vehement demand from the Shiv Sena and the Opposition to waive off farm loans. Fadnavis said his government is "determined" to free the farmers in the state from all their debts.
Listing out figures, the Chief Minister said there are 1.18 crore farmers in the state with a debt of Rs 1.05 lakh crore. Of these, around 31 lakh farmers could not pay back the loan amounting Rs 30,500 crore. "If the farmers are drawn out of this chain, they might suffer huge losses and in order to avoid this, the Centre should formulate a scheme to bring the farmers back in the credit limits," he said. He said this will put them under the risk of borrowing from money lenders. The delegation comprised of Union Minister Subhash Bhamre, Maharashtra Ministers Pandurang Fundkar, Subhash Desai, Divakar Raote, Subhash Deshmukh, Eknath Shinde, Babanrao Lonikar and Ramdas Kadam. MLA Sanjay Kute, Prashant Bamb, Vijay Auty too were present with the CM during this meeting in New Delhi. Apart from requesting the Union Government to frame a scheme to bring back farmers into institutional credit system in such a way that investment in agriculture doesn't get affected, Fadnavis said investment in the agriculture sector is the need of the hour.
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