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Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis rejects demand for loan waiver

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Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday that loan waivers in the past have not benefited farmers, but debt-ridden cooperative credit societies and their politically influential members who indulged in irregularities. “These societies showed many fake entries of farmers who never took loan and obtained loan waivers. Such additional disbursement of loan comes to over Rs 4,000 crore, which will now be probed,” the CM said amid applause from treasury benches.

Mounting an attack on the opposition, he said milk prices in Mumbai were soaring because the previous government (Congress-NCP) never paid any serious attention to the government’s dairy businesses, putting them in a financial mess.

Winding up a two-day debate over the plight of farmers in the state, Fadnavis said that despite loan waivers, farmer suicides went up. “Loan waivers have not reached farmers, who actually needed it. Such waivers can reach very few farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada because over 35 lakh farmers are still unregistered due to the apathy of previous governments. It is shocking that even after major loan waivers, farmers have become debt-ridden within a span of just six years,” he said, indirectly alleging corruption in the Congress-NCP-ruled cooperative societies.

Fadnavis said it was shocking that many cooperatives and their members showed loan waivers for farmers who never took loans. He said a CAG report had clearly revealed that these societies offered loans to ineligible people without collecting from them the papers required for compliance with loan agreements. “Over and above this, societies offered waivers to many ineligible people on interest on loans,” he said, promising that his government would soon start lodging FIRs against delinquent cooperative credit societies and banks.

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