Mumbai: In a rare decision amidst the unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy, the Maharashtra government has directed banks to transfer the outstanding crop loans to the state’s account in a bid to make farmers eligible for fresh credit.
A government resolution (GR) dated 22 May instructed banks to show the current outstanding loan of farmers as the dues of the state government.
“This decision will clear the accounts of farmers and they will become eligible for fresh crop loan. The decision is applicable for the crop loan outstanding as on 1 April this year. The capital and interest on it will be paid by the state government,” the order said.
“It is a very rare decision undertaken by the state government. The government has given its guarantee to some cooperative enterprises but rarely it has taken the burden of farmers,” a senior official from the state cooperation department said on Sunday.
The GR stated that the loan waiver scheme of the government was being partially implemented because of the coronavirus outbreak followed by the lockdown.
“Some 60 percent farmers have been covered under the scheme so far. As there are no funds with the state, some 11.12 lakh account holders are yet to receive Rs 8,100 crore,” the official said.
Explaining the rationale behind issuing the GR, he said the very concept behind the loan waiver was to clear the debts of farmers.
“When NABARD will disburse loans, most of the farmers in the state will become eligible for it (due to the government”s decision),” the official said.