In keeping with its poll promises, the Bharitya Janata Party-led Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday, announced its much touted farm loan waiver, estimated to benefit over 2.15 lakh small and marginal farmers in the state.
The Yogi Adityanath cabinet today decided to waive their crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh, totalling a staggering Rs 36,359 crore, at its very first meeting.
The Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath held their maiden Cabinet meeting 15 days after Adityanath’s swearing-in ceremony following BJP’s massive victory in the state assembly polls last month. This was the first official Cabinet meeting, although several informal meetings have been held previously.
The Yogi Adityanath cabinet decided to float Kisan Rahat Bonds for raising Rs 36,359 crore required for waiving loans of small and marginal farmers who form 92.5 per cent of the total 2.30 lakh farmers in the state.
Addressing the press after the meeting, UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh made the announcement. He said that the cabinet has unanimously decided to waive off farm loans up to Rs One lakh for small and marginal farmers. The minister also mentioned that of the 2.30 lakh farmers in the state, roughly 92.5 percent farmers will fit the bill for the announced benefits. Moreover, the government has also decided a complete waiver of farm loans that had turned into Non performing Assets (NPA). This, he said would benefit more than seven lakh farmers and would cost the exchequer an additional Rs 5,630 crore. The loan waivers will cause an additional 36,359 crore burden on the state coffers.
It is instructive to note here that the state is already reeling under a debt of Rs 3,27,470 crore, the nation's second most indebted state, according to a RBI's state fiscal report up to 2016. The UP government, if at all plans to fulfill these announcements, it must dedicate a mammoth one-third chunk of the annual state budget to the cause.
The minister said the cabinet also decided to raise by Rs 10 per quintal the minimum support price for wheat procurement as loading and unloading charges. The MSP for wheat it Rs 1,680 per quintal.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared during election campaign that after coming to power in the state he will make sure the government takes the decision to waive off farmers’ loans in its first Cabinet meeting. In addition to this, farmers will also get Rs 10 more than minimum support price per quintal. It was also decided that at least 500 wheat buying centres will be set up, which will be monitored directly by the CM.