Waive farm loans, provide free fertilisers: NCP to Maharashtra government

Mumbai: Opposition NCP on Thursday urged the Maharashtra Government to immediately waive the farm loans and provide free fertilisers as well as seeds to drought-affected farmers for the upcoming Kharif season.

The party, while seeking waiver of school fees in drought-hit regions, also alleged that despite putting up all these demands consistently before the state, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ignored the pleas.

Talking to reporters here, NCP state unit president Sunil Tatkare warned that the party will be forced to launch a protest against the government, if it fails to consider the party's demands.

Tatkare said he himself and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde, recently met the Chief Minister over these demands.

"We met the CM and urged him to pay heed to our requests. We have been demanding that the government should waive crop loans of farmers and provide free seeds and fertilisers to them so that they can sustain despite years of drought," Tatkare said. He said farmers have lost all hopes of survival after four consecutive years of drought and resulting crop loss and increasing debts.

"If the government wants farmers to survive, there is no other option but to waive their crop loan," he said.

The NCP leader added that former Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, while speaking in Aurangabad last month had made a pitch for waiver of farm loans and school fees of students in drought-hit regions, but the Chief Minister has ignored his demands.

"Farmers are agitated. Before the situation gets out of control, the government should immediately pay heed to our demands and do what is required," he said.

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