Mah Govt to send report on rain feed, irrigated land: Deshmukh

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Mumbai, Mar 9 (UNI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh today said after the recent announcement of loan waiver scheme for farmers having landholding upto five acres in the Union Budget, the state government will prepare a report on the issues of rain-feed and irrigated land comparison and submit it to the Central government for consideration.

Talking to newspersons here on the eve of the budget session of the assembly, Mr Deshmukh said all the states would send their reports on these issues and the Centre will take the decision after going through all the reports.

''We want the Centre to specify the norms for the irrigated and rain-feed landholding or the amount of loan as in many cases the rain feed land may be more than five acres, but it cannot be compared with the irrigated five acres,'' he said.

''If the criteria is implemented, 90 per cent of the farmers from Vidarbha and Marathwada would benefit,'' he informed.

It may be reaclled that the same issue was raised by BJP state president Nitin Gadkari and others. Finally, the Chief Minister himself demanded that the loan waiver benefit should be extended to the farmers who have 15 acres of rain-feed land or a loan of Rs 50,000.

Asked about the state's contribution for the same, he replied that ''let us wait for the Centre's decision.'' ''We want THAT the big, medium and small landholders should be defined on the basis of the land and irrigation system,'' Mr Deshmukh added.

Speaking about illegal moneylenders, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, said there were 7,000 authorised money lenders in the state and as many as 2,100 moneylenders were arrested for operating illegally.

Admitting that it was difficult to impose ban on moneylending, he said the government had asked the law department to look into the issue and prepare a law to control the illegal moneylending.

''The government will make the law on the same, if possible, in this session or by ordinance,'' Mr Patil added.

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