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    Published On : Sat, Jun 17th, 2017

    Mr. Chief Minister, where are the Rs. 10,000/ you promised all farmers would get immediately?

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    Nagpur:
    The strike of Maharashtra farmers that began on June 1st this year showed a rare unity among all parts of the state : whether it was Nasik or Solapur or Amraoti or Aurangabad farmers every where took part in the agitations that threatened to go on endlessly.

    The first attempt at settlement by the CM on 3rd June failed completely with farmers refusing to accept terms offered; finally when the CM made two promises the farmers took the strike back and decided to go back to their respective farms.

    Loans of small and marginal farmers have been written off with immediate effect, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said. “In principle” was added as an afterthought.

    Irrespective of whether they qualified for loan waivers or not, all farmers would be immediately paid Rs. 10,000 (which would be deducted later from further loans) for buying seeds, fertilizers etc. for the Kharif season that begins after monsoons.

    But this ‘idea’ seems very difficult to implement in reality and not one farmer has benefited even 6 days after the announcement was made.

    It is after all for the banks to release that money to their farmer ‘clients’.

    The Co operative banks are saying they have no funds and no provision to make such ad hoc payments and will be unable to do it.

    The nationalized banks are saying they are waiting for “further instructions from their superiors” before they can begin implementing the scheme and no such instructions have been received at the branch levels.

    Though the Govt. has already passed the order for the 10,000 loan, many formalities will have to be completed by banks and farmers before the money is released to them.

    There are many conditions applicable to get this amount which will be impossible for either banks or farmers to satisfy given the short time in which sowing has to be done.

    The Rs. 10,000 are to be granted by the deadline of July 10th but it will not be possible for banks to ascertain whether farmer is an Income tax payee, and whether he has a four wheeler etc. which will make him ineligible for the loans.

    Also fresh accounts may have to be opened which is also not an easy task.

    Given all these hurdles there is talk in the banking circles that this assurance of 10,000 is going to remain on paper and cannot be implemented.

    It is going to be a repeat of the Rs. 2,50,000/ that each family was supposed to get for weddings in the family after demonetization.

    I remember the comment one educated farmer made immediately after news of strike being withdrawn by farmers was made.

    “Vamana took 2 steps and on the 3rd he crushed Baliraja ( the God of farmers ) into hell; this CM is crushing the farmers, Baliraja all over again with two words – ‘ (in) Principle and (on) Conditions.”


    —Sunita Mudliar (Associate Editor)

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