Loan waiver may benefit 16 lakh farmers in Vidarbha

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Nagpur, Feb 29 (UNI) The loan waiver for marginal and small farmers, announced by Union Finance minister P Chidambaram today, may benefit over 16 lakh farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, official sources have indicated.

There were a total of about 29 lakh farmers in Vidarbha, of which 16.34 lakh were in the category of marginal or small, official sources said.

Giving details, the sources said there were 15 lakh farmers in the six districts of Nagpur Division, of which 7.78 lakh were small and marginal farmers, including 4.45 lakh marginal farmers (holding 0 to 1 hectare of land) and 3.68 lakh small farmers (holding 1 to 2 hectares of land). Of the 14 lakh farmers in the five districts of Amravati Division, 8.56 lakh were small and marginal farmers, including 3.21 lakh marginal and 5.34 lakh small, the sources said.

According to an official release here, the district-wise break-up is as follows (name of district, number of marginal farmers, number of small farmers, and total number of marginal and small farmers, in that order): NAGPUR DIVISION: Wardha - 28,620, 70,308, 98,928; Nagpur - 63,445, 96,534, 1,32,979; Bhandara - 1,16,852, 48,898, 1,57,570; Gondia - 1,18,412, 45,619, 1,64,031; Chandrapur - 74,277, 70,662, 1,44,939; Gadchiroli - 43,625, 36,210, 79,915; and Total - 4,45,231, 3,68,311, 7,78,362.

AMRAVATI DIVISION: Buldhana - 1,12,723, 1,34,608, 2,47,331; Akola - 57,911, 74,701, 1,32,612; Washim - 33,970, 58,075, 92,045; Amravati - 94,971, 1,33,114, 2,28,085; Yavatmal - 21,775, 1,34,364, 1,56,139; and Total - 3,21,350, 5,34,862, 8,56,212.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Minister of State for Finance and Irrigation Sunil Deshmukh, who is also guardian minister for Amravati district, said the loan waiver announced by the Centre today would give a benefit of Rupees 5,000 crore to 'nearly 25 lakh farmers' in Vidarbha. The decision to waive loans for farmers holding up to 5 acres of land was a welcome move, he said in an official release. ''It will be a big relief to farmers,'' he added.

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