Center not considering any proposal for farm loan waiver says Jaitley

Vastavam web:  The Center is not considering any proposal for farm loan waiver, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today, a day after Punjab approved waiving of loans for nearly 10 lakh farmers in the state.In Union Budget 2017-18, the fiscal deficit has been pegged at 3.2 per cent, lower than 3.5 per cent in the last financial year.The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) committee, headed by former revenue secretary N K Singh, has recommended keeping budgetary deficit at 3 per cent of the GDP in three years to March 2020.Farmers in various parts of the country have been agitating, seeking higher support prices for their produce as well as waiver of loans.

The central government stance assumes significance against the backdrop of farm loan waiver already announced by Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh even as the country recently witnessed violent protests from farmers in Madhya Pradesh demanding debt relief.Punjab yesterday announced total waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh of small and marginal farmers, and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all marginal farmers, irrespective of the loan amount. Jaitley had stated earlier that the central government will not partake in states’ fiscal leverage in waiving farm loans, and made it clear that the cost has to be borne by the states.