Talks between farmers steering committee, govt fail

Nashik : The talks between the Empowered Group of Ministers and farmers’ steering committee members failed yesterday due to loan waiver limit of Rs. 1 lakh only and various other issues. Expressing their disappointment over the government’s stand, the members of the steering committee burned a copy of government decision regarding an advance aid of Rs. 10,000 outside Sahyadri guest house. As it has been decided to burn copies of government decision opposite government offices in the state on June 21, agitation of farmers is likely to intensify.

A meeting was organised at Sahyadri guest house to decide norms for loan waiver to farmers. Leaders of farmers alleged that government was not taking a firm stand. Enraged leaders tore a copy of the government GR. Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar, Subhash Deshmukh, Girish Mahajan and Diwakar Raote took part in the meeting, whereas members of the steering committee Jayant Patil, MP Raju Shetti, MLA Bachhu Kadu, Raghunath Dada Patil, Ravikant Tupkar, Ajit Navale, Sanjay Patil and Raju Desale took part.

Loan waiver to the farmers was partially approved in the meeting held on June 11. It was also decided to give an immediate aid of Rs. 10,000 for kharip season. After this decision, government had issued a GR within two days and had declared norms for aid of Rs. 10,000.

The second round of discussions to decide on norms for the loan waiver took place yesterday. Government decided to write off loans upto Rs. 1 lakh only and to provide waiver to defaulters only till June 30, 2016. It also decided to apply norms fixed for aid of Rs. 10,000 for loan waiver too. Members of the steering committee opposed this and insisted on their demand to give complete loan waiver, but as government remained firm on its decision, the members left the meeting halfway and burned the copy of government decision opposite the guest house. An announcement was also made to stage statewide agitation on June 21. With this, there are signs that conflict between farmers and government is likely to intensify again.

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