Farmers in Maharashtra have called off their protest after the state government on Sunday announced a blanket loan waiver, the largest ever, to provide immediate relief to 31 lakh farmers.

On June 1, farmers from a village in Ahmednagar district went on strike followed by many farmers groups in other parts, who tried to suspend vegetable and milk supply to Mumbai.

Farmers protest by spilling milk on road in Aurangabad

There are 1.36 crore farmers in the state and their loans add up to Rs 1.14 lakh crore but the government estimates that the loan waiver will not exceed Rs 35,000 crore when parameters are introduced to weed out non-farming categories to ensure that genuine farmers reap maximum benefits. These parameters will ensure that big business houses, professionals or politicians who own large parcels of agriculture land do not avail loan waiver benefits in the name of farmers.

Chief Minister Fadnavis said –

“The loan waiver is for all farmers and not confined to just small and marginal categories. There will be defined parameters to ensure genuine and needy farmers are not left out of the institutional credit bracket.”

The waiver decision came after a meeting of the core committee led by state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil and farmer representatives from Nashik, Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Sangli and Pune.

Taking another step to provide relief to farmers supplying milk to cooperative dairy societies and private players, the government has decided to increase milk rates from June 20.