The Maharashtra government has set up an 11-member committee to give recommendations on bringing the debt-ridden farmers back into the credit system. However, the government has set not any deadline for the high-level committee, headed by the Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), to submit its report. A Government Resolution (GR) issued on May 11 said there were 30 district central cooperative banks, 23 public sector banks, eight private sector banks and two regional rural banks that disburse agricultural credit to farmers. The GR added that due to drought conditions, natural calamities and other reasons, many times the farmers are unable to repay their loan and hence become loan defaulters and hence ineligible for fresh agricultural loan. There are around over 27 lakh farmers, who are still out of the institutional credit system and such farmers need to be brought back to the credit system, it said. The committee has General Manager Reserve Bank of India,; Additional Chief Secretary (Planning); Principal Secretary of Agriculture, Divisional Commissioner of Pune; Cooperation Commissioner and Registrar Cooperative Societies, Chief General Manager NABARD and others as its members. Although the committee has been given an agenda, there is no deadline set for the committee to submit its report. During the recent budget session of the state legislature Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that the government also wanted to put in place system for 1.34 crore account holder farmers, who regularly repaid loans. He had further said that the government will have to bear the burden of Rs 30,500 crore if it had to waive loans of 31 lakh farmers.
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