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Loan waiver not a solution to agrarian distress: Niti Aayog V-C Rajiv Kumar

Former Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya also spoke against farm loan waivers

Indivjal Dhasmana  |  New Delhi 

Rajiv Kumar, NITI Aayog, VC
Rajiv Kumar (Photo: Sanjay K Sharma)

A day after several state governments announced farm debt waivers, the NITI Aayog on Wednesday spoke against the measures, saying these steps help only a fraction of farmers and does not mitigate

is not a solution to distress. It is not a solution but is palliative,” Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said at a press conference after the release of its ‘Strat­egy for New India@75’ document.

Niti Aayog member and expert on Ramesh Chand said the biggest problem with is that it will benefit only a small fraction of farmers.

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“In poorer states, only 10-15 per cent of farmers are benefited from as few farmers get institutional loans. In many states, not even 25 per cent of farmers avail institutional credit,” Chand said.

He noted that when you have this kind of variations in states in terms of farmers acc­ess to institutional credit, it is not worth spending so much money on farm loan waivers.

“Even the CAG report says farm loan waivers do not help. It is no solution to address distress in farm sector,” Chand said.

Kumar and Chand said the Aayog will suggest the Ministry of to link allocations to states to reform measures undertaken by them in the

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Former Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya also spoke against farm loan waivers.

“A sad race to the bottom has begun. If loan waivers would fundamentally alleviate farmers’ plight, waivers would be a welcome step. But if after 70 years of Indep­endence, farmers remain in distress, we need to seek different solutions,” he tweeted.

First Published: Wed, December 19 2018. 23:45 IST