Loan Waiver Option Open

With Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik saying that his Government would examine proposal on waiving farm loan, the experts in the Department of Finance are in a fix as to where to arrange such a huge fund required for the purpose.

The chorus for waiving off farm loans has grown louder in the state after the decision of the Yogi Adityanath-led Government in Uttar Pradesh.

It is another matter that the UP Government also facing similar financial crunch as Odisha has been overcoming. But, the UP Government may arrange the funds required for the purpose from the BJP led Central Government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also made announcement in several election meetings that the UP would announce farm loan waive as soon as BJP Government is installed at Lucknow.

At a review meeting with the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the representatives of Bargarh and Puri panchayats today raised the demand for waiver of loans.

Mr.Patnaik has been interacting with his party leaders at the grassroots level after rival BJP made unexpected gains at the recent panchayat elections, denting the ruling BJD's hegemony.

About 34 million farmers in the State have availed loans for farming. About Rs 19,000 crore worth of farm loans are outstanding on farmers, of which Rs 12,000 crore is from the Cooperative Banks. The balance is advanced by the commercial banks.

"We will certainly examine the matter (of farm loan waiver)", said Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik.

Pradeep Maharathy, Minister for Agriculture and Farmer's Empowerment said, "The State Government is considering the matter (of writing off farm loans). The Chief Minister has said that it will be examined".

However, Minister Cooperation & Excise, Damodar Rout stoked a controversy by questioning the reason behind waiving off farm loans.

"The farmers are using the loan amount for getting their daughters married or consuming liquor instead of investing the amount in agriculture", Dr.Rout said.

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