After questions are being raised over delay in the disbursal
of the farm loan waiver, Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has
given instructions to the Finance Department of the state to take measures to
effectively implement the crop loan waiver scheme. There are numerous report on
how farmers of the state are still clueless about their loan waiver even after
two months of its announcement by the UP CM. Farmers are making rounds of banks
but banks haven't got any order yet and as their previous loan amount is still
due, they are not able to get new loans.
The directives issued by Yogi is also being seen as an
attempt to avoid farmers unrest in Uttar Pradesh after raging farmers'
agitation in Mandsaur and other districts of Madhya Pradesh and farmers'
protests and clashes with administration in states like Maharashtra, West
Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Protests in Madhya Pradesh have reached to its capital
city Bhopal. And its flames further have reached to Punjab and Haryana where
farmers held protests in support of the farmers of Madhya Pradesh. Chhattisgarh
farmers are also going to start their protest movement.
According to the Twitter account of the UP CM office, Yogi Adityanath
has directed the state officials that the loan waiver amount of the small and
marginal farmers be made available to banks immediately after the state budget
is passed. The Yogi government is finalizing its budget and it is expected to
be presented by June end. Yogi's predecessor Akhilesh Yadav had presented the
state's interim budget for April-August on December 21 last year as the state
was going to polls in February-March.
Adityanath has directed his officials to issue certificates
of loan waiver to the small and marginal farmers and has instructed his
officials that they must visit the 86 lakh beneficiary farmers to handover the
document personally. The outreach is being seen as an attempt by Adityanath so
express his sensitivity towards the affected farmers.
He has also asked his officials to direct the banks to not
issue notice to the farmers who are beneficiary of this loan waiver scheme till
the state budget is passed. For effective implementation of the loan waiver
scheme, he has directed the officials to form committees at the district level
headed by the district collectors. One of the most important directives he has
issued is of linking the beneficiary bank accounts to their Aadhar number. It
will ensure transparency and quick flow of funds from the government to the
farmers once the funds are made available.
Keeping its campaign promise, the Yogi Adityanath government
had waived crops loans worth Rs 36359 crore its first cabinet meeting on April
4. The waiver intends to benefit 2.1 crore small and marginal farmers of the
state with loan liability of up to Rs 1 lakh.
Spread of farmers’ agitation to many states, with many of
them being BJP run, has sent state governments and the central government in a
panic mode. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan first announced
a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the farmers killed in Mandsaur firing, raised
it to Rs 10 lakh and then finally to Rs 1 crore, all in a span of just few
hours. He also sat on indefinite peace fast to appeal to the farmers. Central
government led by Narendra Modi held an emergency meeting on farmers’ agitation
and Maharashtra chief minister decided to waive of farmers’ loans in the state
worth 30000 crore, a long standing demand even by the Shiv Sena, the BJP
partner in the state government.
Because they realize that if the BJP loses the confident of
the farmers, it is staring at an electoral loss in the upcoming elections
including the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Farming community and its dependents who
form over one-third of India’s population are an electoral force that no
political party can dare to ignore. Politics over farm crisis and farm suicides
tell us the electoral might of farmers even if they are cursed to live a life
of misery with a paltry monthly household income of just Rs 6426 a month, the
National Sample Survey Office’s report says.