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States should generate funds from own resources: Arun Jaitley on farm loan waiver

BT Online     June 12, 2017

Clearing the air on whether Centre would financially support states that are granting farm loan waivers, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said the states offering farm loan waivers should arrange the funds from their own resources.

"I have already made the position. States which want to go for these kind of schemes, will have to generate them from their own resources. Beyond that as the central government, I have nothing to say," Jaitley said when asked if the Centre will help states on the issue of farm loan waivers.

"States like Maharashtra that are keen on farmer loan waiver should generate funds from their own resources," Jaitley said at a press conference in New Delhi.

Jaitley's statement comes close on the heels of Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra announcing a loan waiver for the state's 1.07 crore farmers who have land holdings of less than five acres, a move that would cost the state exchequer Rs 30,000 crore.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reportedly met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss his government's plans to soon announce a formula of farm loan waiver, which would require Rs 36,000 crore.

In Madhya Pradesh, before ending his 28-hour-long fast, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a series of measures for farmers, including declaring purchase of farm produce below the minimum support a criminal act.

"Any purchase of farm produce below the minimum support price (MSP), declared by the Centre, would be considered a criminal act in Madhya Pradesh," he said.

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