Farm loans: Sena plans ‘drum beating’ at banks

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Mumbai, July 6 (IANS) Putting pressure on the Maharashtra government to expedite the loan waiver process for farmers, the Shiv Sena on Thursday announced a ‘drum beating’ agitation outside district cooperative banks across the state on Monday.

Sena President Uddhav Thackeray directed all party MPs and legislators to ‘beat drums’ outside the cooperative banks in all districts on July 10 and ascertain the status of the farm loans waiver scheme announced last month by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The party has also demanded that all banks should declare a manifest of the beneficiary farmers and display it prominently outside the banks with details of the loan waiver granted to them.

Additionally, Thackeray ordered the consumer cell of the party to set up a Help Desk outside each cooperative bank branch, procure the local list of beneficiaries from the banks and help the farmers complete the relevant formalities to avail the loan waiver.

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“This is the only method to ascertain how many farmers are actually going to be benefited by the loan waiver scheme,” said Sena Secretary and MP Vinayak Raut.

Significantly, the Sena move comes two days after Fadnavis announced that the number of farmers – 36,10,216 – across the state in a district-wise breakdown which includes 813 peasants from Mumbai.

The figures raked up a controversy with the Congress saying that Wardha district was omitted from Fadnavis’ list and people also raising doubts over how a non-agricultural and commercial centre like Mumbai could have so many debt-hit farmers.

This forced the state government to clarify that the lists, provided by the concerned banks, was only provisional and each case would be verified before being declared finally eligible for the loan waiver scheme.

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Several parties have demanded that the government should come out with the names of the actual beneficiaries of the loan write-off scheme intended for farmers with outstanding of upto Rs 150,000.



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