Maharashtra emerged as the biggest beneficiary of the farm loan waiver programme announced just before last year’s general elections. The Maharashtra state, which ranks third in overall agricultural credit flow in the country, accounted for Rs6,366 crore or 18% of the total Rs35,368 crore waived off from farmers who took loans from co-operative rural banks. The number is nearly four times of what farmers in Karnataka and Gujarat got. The statistics, obtained in reply to a Right to Information query from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), showed a bias towards farmers with more land in the western states, compared to Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. While states like Andhra Pradesh, which came second to Maharashtra in overall write-offs, allocated just 10.7% of its total write-offs to farmers with five acres or more, Maharashtra spent around 30% of its loan waivers for such farmers. Uttar Pradesh, the third place holder, allotted just 8.2% of its total benefits of Rs5,233 crore to big farmers. Not surprisingly, states which implemented land reforms successfully, such as West Bengal and Kerala, spent the lowest on big farmers. Bengal, which forgave loans totaling Rs1,087 crore, allocated just Rs10.6 crore (1%) to farmers with 5 acres or more. Kerala wrote off about 1.8% out of the total amount of Rs1,550 crore. Unfortunately while, Maharashtra tops in availing waiver loans, farmers suicide still continue in the state. Bureau report – NMTV News.
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