Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday announced a loan waiver of up to Rs 2 lakh to farmers of the state, fulfilling the promise made by the Congress in its election manifesto. The short-term loan of up to Rs 2 lakh from cooperative banks will be waived by the state government, said Gehlot. Overall, there will be a burden of Rs 18,000 crore on the state exchequer, he said.
After taking over as Chief Minister two days ago, Gehlot had asked senior officials to issue orders on the loan waiver. The same day he had called a meeting with finance department officials and others where Chief Secretary D.B. Gupta was also present.
"During the election campaign, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had promised a loan waiver to farmers within 10 days of forming the government. To fulfil this commitment, we have announced the farm loan waiver," he said.
"The previous government did not help the farmers and waived loans up to Rs 50,000 only because these entailed a burden of Rs 8,000 crore. However, we have decided to waive loans worth Rs 2 lakh in the cooperative banks," said Gehlot.
"Rajasthan farmers never committed suicide. It was in the last few years that we heard about them being forced to end their lives, which is quite sad. Hence we have decided to waive loans of such farmers who, because of any circumstances, are unable to pay their due loans. All their loans till Nov 30, 2018, will be waived," he said.
The initiative comes close on the heels of similar announcements made in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where Congress formed the government after registering a win in the recent assembly elections.
(With inputs from agencies.)