Farmers' strike: Maharashtra govt announces loan waiver; protests called off from 12 June

After eleven days of protests from farmers' across the state, Maharashtra government announced loan waiver to farmers with less than five acres of land on Sunday, reports said.

This decision was reportedly taken on Sunday at a marathon four-hour meeting at Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai's Malabar Hills between government ministers and farmer leaders.

This decision will provide relief to around 31 lakh farmers, according to a source. The farmers will be eligible for new loans from 12 June, the source added.

The meeting comprised revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, Girish Mahajan, Subhash Deshmukh, Pandurang Sondkar, Diwakar Raote and farmer leaders Raju Shetti, Raghunath Dada Patil, MLA Bacchu Kadhu, Ajit Navale, MLC Jain Patil, retired judge BG Patil and Giridhar Patil.

File image of Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

The government also announced that a core committee headed by former NABARD chairman YSP Thorath will look into how to give relief to farmers who have more than five acres of land, the source said.

Shetti, who is also a leader of political organisation Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana, told Firstpost that the farmers' community is ready to start another set of protests if the promises are not fulfilled by 25 July.

"We will go to Delhi and meet the prime minister. If this government does not live up to its promises by 25 July, then we will call a strike from 26 July," he said.

Some government officials have estimated that the waiver will make a Rs 30,000-crore hole in the state coffers.

Earlier, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had stated that the Maharashtra government will come out with a loan waiver for farmers before 31 October and alleged that some political leaders are milking the ongoing agitation.

"Before 31 October, the distressed farmers who need help will be given a loan waiver. The modalities are being worked out and I can say with conviction that this will be the biggest loan waiver in Maharashtra's history," Fadnavis had told reporters after a meeting on urban development with Union minister Venkaiah Naidu.

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With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jun 11, 2017 18:02 PM

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