Beyond Metros, India, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra

States giving loan waivers to farmers should arrange funds on their own: Arun Jaitley

Soon after the Maharashtra government announced a loan waiver for farmers, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that states that want to waive off loans should arrange funds on their own. After the widespread farmers’ agitation, the Maharashtra government announced a loan waiver and decided to form a committee to decide the criteria for debt relief. Farmers in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have been demanding a waiver of loans and had launched protests and strikes.

However, addressing media, Arun Jaitley said, “States which want to go in for farm loan waiver will have to generate funds from their own resources.”

Notably, the strike was called off after the state government’s announcement.

Significantly, on Sunday, After 15 hours of fasting, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan ended his “peace fast” assuring the farmers that their demands will be considered and acted.

At least 6 protesting farmers were killed in an open firing, last Tuesday, after which Mandsaur has been in a state of unrest. Furious farmers raided and set aflame a police outpost after the firing. This is when the authority clamped curfew on Pipalia town, the nucleus of violence, rushed extra forces. The farmers’ protest started last week in Mandsaur over demand for better prices for their produce and debt relief. Mandsaur, the epicentre of farmers’ protest, had been on the boil since last week.

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