A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath waived off loans up to Rs 1 lakh of small and marginal farmers in the state, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi termed the move as a “partial relief” but “a step in the right decision”.
“A partial relief for UP farmers, but a step in the right direction. @INCIndia has always supported loan waivers for farmers in distress. I'm happy BJP has finally been forced to see reason. But let's not play politics with our farmers who are suffering across the country,” Rahul said in a series of tweets.
A partial relief for UP farmers, but a step in the right direction. @INCIndia has always supported loan waivers for farmers in distress(1/3)— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) April 5, 2017
I'm happy BJP has finally been forced to see reason.But let's not play politics with our farmers who are suffering across the country(2/3)— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) April 5, 2017
The Congress VP, who had held a month-long Kisan Yatra in UP seeking loan waiver for farmers, asked the Centre to extend loan relief to farmers in other states as well.
"The Central Govt must have a national response to the widespread distress & not discriminate amongst states," he tweeted.
Congress’ alliance partner in UP, however, had a completely different take on the dole. Samajwadi Party president and former CM Akhilesh Yadav did not appear too impressed with the new government’s move.
"Promise was to waive the entire loan... farmers are feeling cheated as the government fixed a limit of Rs one lakh. The poor farmers have been betrayed," Akhilesh Yadav tweeted.
वादा पूर्ण क़र्ज़ माफ़ी का था, किसी सीमा का नहीं. एक लाख की सीमा से करोड़ों किसान ठगा सा महसूस कर रहे है. ये गरीब किसानों के साथ धोखा है.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) April 4, 2017
The move, costing Rs 30,279 crore, will benefit nearly 2.15 crore small and marginal farmers across the state. Besides, the cabinet also decided to write off Rs 5,630 crore in non-performing assets (NPAs) of 700,000 farmers.
The first cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath decided to float Kisan Rahat Bonds for raising Rs 36,359 crore required for waiving loans of small and marginal farmers who form 92.5 per cent of the total 2.30 crore farmers in the state.
The CM said that every farmer owning up to 5 acres of land is to be considered as small time farmers. Those owning land up to 2.5 acres would be categorised as marginalised farmers.