Loan waiver for farmers, a half-hearted exercise: Naidu

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Pune, Mar 13 (UNI) The loan waiver, announced in the 2008-09 budget of the UPA government, was a half-hearted, belated exercise as it would cover only 15 to 20 per cent of the Farmers, BJP vice-president Venkaiah Naidu said today.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the loan waiver will cover only 15 to 20 percent of the farmers and 80 percent of them will be left out of its ambit.

He said in backward areas like Vidarbha, Telangana, Rayalaseema, northern Karnataka, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan, the average land holding is seven and half acres. ''The farmers will be deprived of any benefit as the waiver applies for those who have land holding upto five acres'', he said.

Mr Naidu said 52 percent of the Vidarbha farmers were 'ineligible' for the loan waiver as they own more than 2 hectares of land.

He said people who pay back their loans regularly should be given incentives.

Posing a question, he asked if the Congress was sincere then why had it not done it in the last four years.

''The loan waiver is a pre-election sop and and there is every possibility of the general elections in the month of November'', Mr Naidu added.

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