Other States

Rajasthan government to waive all farm loans

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has sent a proposal to the nationalised banks to bring a one-time loan waiver scheme for the Rajasthan’s farmers on the lines of a scheme introduced recently by the State Bank of India. File

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has sent a proposal to the nationalised banks to bring a one-time loan waiver scheme for the Rajasthan’s farmers on the lines of a scheme introduced recently by the State Bank of India. File

Facing charges of not carrying out full waiver of farmers’ loans after coming to power, the Congress government in Rajasthan has initiated action to get the loans disbursed by nationalised banks waived through a one-time scheme. The State government has offered to bear the farmers’ share in the waiver scheme.

The Congress has been asking the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre to take urgent action for waiving farmers’ loans from nationalised, commercial and land development banks coming under its purview. The ruling party in the State has pointed out that the NDA government, which was reluctant to provide relief to farmers, had written off industrialists’ loans worth ₹7.95 lakh crore in its first tenure.

Shortly after being elected to power, the Congress government had rolled out a loan waiver of ₹14,000 crore, including ₹6,000 crore announced by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party regime, by which over 20.56 lakh farmers had benefited. The waiver was enforced for the loans obtained by cultivators from cooperative banks functioning under the State government.

Key promise

Farm loan waiver was one of the promises made by the Congress in its manifesto for the 2018 Assembly elections and party leader Rahul Gandhi had announced that all loans of farmers would be waived within 10 days of assuming power.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has sent a proposal to the nationalised banks to bring a one-time loan waiver scheme for the State’s farmers on the lines of a scheme introduced recently by the State Bank of India, in which the agricultural loans, classified as non-performing assets (NPA), were waived.

While 90% of the loans were waived by the bank, the farmers paid the remaining 10%. Mr. Gehlot said at a meeting of the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) and the NABARD’s loan seminar here that the State government was ready to give 10% of the farmers’ share in the scheme and asked the nationalised banks to provide relief to poor farmers.

Though the farmers’ loans from nationalised banks were declared NPA on November 20, 2018, they are yet to be waived. Mr. Gehlot had earlier raised the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pointed out that the NDA’s promise of doubling the income of farmers was not likely to be fulfilled, looking at the government’s policies in the agriculture sector.

Credit to priority sectors

Mr. Gehlot also released the State Focus Paper of NABARD for 2022-23 and said the apex regulatory body for the regional rural banks had estimated the potential credit to priority sectors at ₹2.50 lakh crore, which was 7.3% higher than the estimate for last year. He said the banks and financial institutions should target lending to the identified sectors based on the capacity indicated in the document and prepare an annual action plan.


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Printable version | Sep 12, 2022 9:14:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajasthan-government-to-waive-all-farm-loans/article38059166.ece