On Mulayam birthday, CM son gifts loan waiver to farmers

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday announced a loan waiver for farmers who have taken agricultural loans up to Rs 50,000 from the UP Sahkari Gram Vikas Bank, commonly known as the land development bank, and repaid at least 10 per cent of the principal until March 31, 2012.

The announcement came on the 74th birthday of Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav in fulfilment of an election promise of the ruling party.

The waiver will benefit 7.2 lakh farmers and cost Rs 1,650 crore. Already, an allocation of Rs 500 crore has been made in the budget, which was presented by Akhilesh in June 2012.

"For the remaining amount, budgetary provisions will be made in the coming years," the CM announced.

The waiver will include both the unpaid principal and interest. "We had announced that farmers' mortgaged land will not be auctioned for recovery of loans. We had included this in our election manifesto and we have now fulfilled it," Akhilesh said. However, he ruled out waiver on farm loans given by other banks.

Referring to his father Mulayam, Akhilesh said, "We all are aware that he is a great farmer leader and is concerned about the welfare of farmers. He had made an announcement for loan waiver during elections and it was also in our election manifesto. Already, other decisions for farmer welfare, like free irrigation from government tubewells and canals, have been taken by the government."

This is the third major handout by this Samajwadi Party government. Already, the party is giving unemployment allowance of Rs 1,000 per month to jobless men and women, and a cash assistance of Rs 30,000 to girls passing Class XII under the Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme. Soon, it will start payment of cash assistance of Rs 30,000 to girls from minority communities on passing Class X, and a similar assistance to girls from poor families of other communities.

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