Ahead of the state assembly polls scheduled this November, the Haryana government has waived off Rs 4750 crore interest penalty on the crop loans.
The announcement was made by Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khatar in Bhiwani district, Haryana.
The decision is supposed to benefit 10 lakh state farmers who have taken loans from the state-owned Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society(PACS), District Cooperative Central Bank(DCCB), and Land Mortgage Bank (LMB).
“A total benefit of Rs 4,750 crore will be given to farmers. And this amount may go up by Rs 100 crore to Rs 200 crore as the exact calculation is to be worked out. We have given a package of roughly Rs 5,000 crore to farmers,” Khattar said while addressing the rally in Bhiwani.
Distressed Farmers Think Otherwise
However, the decision is not welcomed by the farmers of Haryana who have termed the move as a political gimmick to garner votes of the marginalized community.
Rakesh Kumar Bains of the Bharatiya Kisan Union told News18 that this waiver doesn’t do much for the state’s farmers who are drowning in an ocean of debts and failed crops. “The farmers of Haryana demanded that their entire loan be waived. But the government only waived loans taken from cooperative banks. How will the farmers benefit from this? Loans from national banks wherefrom most farmers go have not been included in this,” he added.
According to Bains, a majority of the farmers have gotten their Kisan Credit Cards from the National Banks. “Farmers take loans against these cards for various utilities — from tractors, pesticides, farming equipment to irrigation. The Haryana government hasn’t taken any step for those availing services under a national scheme,” he added.
However, according to the NCRB data of 2016, a debt-ridden agrarian system in Haryana witnessed 250 farmer suicides making it one of the biggest witness of the agrarian crisis, a rise of 54 per cent from 2015.