BJP demands loans at 4 pc, 1-year moratorium on interest for farmers

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Nagpur, Jan 9 (UNI) Reiterating its demand for complete loan waiver for the distressed farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, the BJP today demanded loans from nationalised banks at an interest rate of four per cent for them and a one-year moratorium on the interest thereon.

Speaking to mediapersons here today on the eve of his two-day 'Kisan Yatra,' BJP president Rajnath Singh said the cost of production must be factored into the prices paid to farmers to ensure remunerative rates for their produce to alleviate their suffering.

The state government's move to provide loans to farmers at row rates was related only to debt from cooperative societies and district central cooperative banks, and not to those from nationalised banks, he said.

The BJP wanted nationalised banks to give loans at low rates to farmers, Mr Singh said. ''Nationalised banks must give loans at four per cent interest to farmers. In addition, interest must not be charged for one year on such loans,'' he also said.

Replying to questions, Mr Singh said complete loan waiver was an absolute must to resolve the agrarian crisis sweeping across Vidarbha at present. Holding the Congress 'singularly responsible' for the distress in the agriculture sector in the country, Mr Singh said the problem could not be solved in a space of a few years, but would need long-term measures.

''I hold the Congress responsible for the crisis as it has ruled the country for the most time since independence. The Congress and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), now in power at the Centre, made several promises to farmers, but has kept very few of them,'' the BJP President said.

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