UPA to consider extension of farm loan waiver: Sonia

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Osmanabad (Maharashtra), Mar 17: United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today indicated that the UPA government at the Centre would consider extension of loan waiver scheme to farmers having more than two hectares of land.

Addressing a rally at Marathwada hinterland here, Ms Gandhi said that she had already spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram about the demand from Maharashtra to benefit a large number of farmers in the rain-fed regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada. She was confident that they would take necessary steps soon.

Lauding the loan waiver scheme to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore as historic, Ms Gandhi said Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and party MP Rahul Gandhi had already raised the issue. The party had conveyed its demand to the government, she added.

Ms Gandhi had a word of praise for Vilasrao Deshmukh-led government in the State, which was being severely criticised by detractors within the party. She said the UPA government at the centre and the Congress led governments in States had been taking the country towards development and progress. ''Only those governments are worthy, which are working for the development of the poor and deprived sections of the society,'' she added.

She also complimented the UPA government for providing various benefits to other sections of the society, including IT exemption enhancement to the senior citizens, increasing stipend to Anganwadi workers, ushering in a legislation to ensure economic security to the unorganised sector and the Tribal bill which was passed by Parliament recently.


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