Chief Minister Kamal Nath had signed papers related to farmers' loan waiver hours after taking oath of office (File Photo: PTI)
Days after clearing the proposal of waiving farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath has now extended the cut-off date from March 31 to December 12, 2018. It was approved by the State Cabinet on Saturday. Earlier, the Chief Minister had announced that only loan amount outstanding as on March 31, 2018, will be waived. However, the government has now extended the date to accommodate more people in the scheme, a move aimed at wooing the farmers ahead of general elections.
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh: State Cabinet approves farmers loan waiver scheme. Loans of Rs. 2 lakhs taken by farmers will be waived off. Cut-off date has been set as 12 December 2018.— ANI (@ANI) January 5, 2019
The decision to extend the date has come after Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the Kamal Nath-led-Congress government in the state for misleading farmers on loan waivers. The prime minister had said that Congress government has handed out 'lollipops' instead of what was promised.
'Lollipops were handed out. The loan waiver was given to only 800 farmers,' he claimed and said the 'lollipop company' had similarly 'forgotten' the promises it made before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
In a related development, the Cabinet has approved the decision to raise assistance for girls’ marriages from Rs 28,000 to Rs 51,000. The decision will put an additional burden of Rs 35,000 crore on the state exchequer.
Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on June 7 in Mandsaur district had announced his party would waive farm loans within 10 days of coming to power in the state. This was later included in the Congress manifesto - 'Vachan Patra'. Soon after Kamal Nath had signed the related papers, Gandhi had tweeted, "The Congress party has managed to wake the Chief Ministers of Assam and Gujarat from their deep slumber. Prime Minister is still asleep. We will wake him up, too," tweeted Gandhi.