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Odisha Not In Farm Loan Waiver Race: Finance Minister


21 December 2018

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: As farm loan waiver has turned into a rat race and most of the political parties are seen competing with each other due to the political compulsion as the general elections are in 2019, ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha today made it clear that its government in the State is not in the loan waiver political race.

When farm loan waiver has now become an ace political agenda soon after Congress wrested power from BJP and has already kept its poll promise to the farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, BJP governments in Assam and Gujarat have also followed the suit.

In his media reactions, Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “Odisha is not in the farm loan waiver race. Those who had not begun initiatives in this context or were sitting idle have all at once jumped into the bandwagon and competing with each other. Accordingly, the BJP-ruled States have now woken up. Another specific political party (Congress) soon after its poltical victory has started influencing its wings in other States.”

“On the other hand, our State Government has initiated steps much earlier for the infrastructural development of agriculture. Be it Agriculture Budget or Krishi Karman Award or various concessions for the farmers, etc have all been done not before the upcoming election, but much much before. Also the State Government is examining what can be done so far loan waiver is concerned,” he informed.

However, senior Congress leader Suresh Chandra Routray argued, “Permanent solution will take pretty long time. Farmers are losing patience. They are feeling utterly disappointed due to debt burden. Natural calamities are adversely affecting them. I’m not in favour of long term project to alleviate the problems of the farmers.”

“Hence, farm loan waiver must be done immediately. Naveen Babu and Modi should also take immediate step so that MSP is Rs 3,000 per quintal. 82% of the population belongs to the farming community. The backbone of the farmers lies broken,” he demanded and argued.

In his arguments, Odisha BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra stated, “A farmer is unable to repay loan as he is not reaping the adequate production. It is because the farmer has no irrigation facility, no supply of electricity, harvested crop is not getting reasonable rate, no granary or storage houses.”

“Odisha Government should first waive off loan and make the farmers debt-free. Later on all efforts should be taken for making the farmers self-reliant so that they could be able enough to repay loans,” he demanded and advised.

Also Read: As Political Parties Race For Loan Waivers, Here Are 5 Concrete Solutions By Swaminathan Commission To Mitigate Farmers’ Distress

Also Read: Odisha: Live-In Partner Beheads Girlfriend, Surrenders

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Sashi Bhusan Behera, Finance Minister, Odisha

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Suresh Chandra Routray, Senior Congress Leader, Odisha

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Golak Mohapatra, Spokesperson, BJP, Odisha