Loan waiver no solution to farmers' woes: Jadhav

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Nagpur, Nov 25 (UNI) Pune University Vice-Chancellor Dr Narendra Jadhav, the one-man committee appointed by the Government of Maharashtra Government to assess the implementation of its relief package for farmers in Vidarbha region, has said loan waiver did not appear to be a solution to the agrarian crisis in the state.

''Nobody among the activists, experts and representatives of organisations who spoke to me said loan waiver is the only or final solution to the problem,'' Dr Jadhav told UNI after a day-long interaction with various delegations here yesterday.

In fact, they pointed out that loan waiver would only take care of the institutional debt, and would not deal with the non-institutional debt, which was one of the major causes of farmers distress, he said.

The experts pointed out that even if loan waiver was given, the pressure to re-pay the borrowing from the unorganised sector would remain and the problem would continue, Dr Jadhav said.

It was pointed out that borrowing from the unorganised sector, either in cash from private money lenders or in the form of purchase on credit from input providers, was accorded priority for repayment by farmers over that of the organised sector, he added.

The delegations suggested that an increase in the period of moratorium on loans and a reduction in the rate of interest would be more advisable, the Pune University Vice-Chancellor said.

Significantly, the view has been aired even as the opposition in Maharashtra clamours for complete loan waiver for the distressed farmers and stalled the proceedings of the two Houses of the legislature in the first week of the ongoing winter session here over the demand.

Dr Jadhav said that in opinion of the delegations that met him yesterday, measures like 'The Art of Living' courses would not benefit any farmer. ''The experts suggested that spiritual measures, if any, should have been in the form of local traditional and folk forms, like 'Keertan,' for instance,'' he said.

Although, Dr Jadhav has been asked to submit his report within three months, he would present an interim report within the next six weeks, considering the seriousness of the issue, before giving his final findings.

''My task is to assess the implementation of the Rs 1,750 crore relief package for farmers announced by the State Government in December 2005, and suggest ways to improve its operational utilisation,'' he informed.

It was likely that he would pay another visit to the region within a fortnight to get additional inputs on the problems and the implementation of the package, he added.

Dr Jadhav visited Yavatmal today for a similar interaction with activists there.

UNI

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