Updated February 23rd, 2024 at 21:04 IST

I Am a Farmer's Son Says Haryana's CM Khattar, Announcing Interest Waiver on Crop Loans

While announcing Haryana's 2024-25 budget, CM Khattar said that his govt will also provide interest and penalty waivers for farmers registered on MFMB portal.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. | Image:PTI/ File Photo
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CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, on Friday, announced that his goverment would provide a waiver of interest and penalty on certain crop loans. While making the announcement, Khattar asserted that his government had taken many steps for the welfare of farmers such as providing the minimum support price guarantee for 14 crops. The annoucement of the interest and penalty waiver was made as Khattar, who is also the state's finance minister, was introducing Haryana's budget for 2024-25. 

"For 2024-25, I propose a budget of Rs 1,89,876.61 crore which is 11.37 per cent more than Rs 1,70,490.84 crore (revised estimates) of 2023-24," Khattar said during his two-hour budget speech in the Assembly.

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“I announce to waive interest and penalty on the crop loan in case crop loan was availed till September 30, 2023, and the principal amount is paid by May 31, 2024, provided the farmer is registered with MFMB (Meri Fasal Mera Byora),” said Khattar. 

He said that such loans should have been taken by farmers registered on MFMB portal and thereafter, the farmers will be eligible for crop loans from PACS during the Kharif season.

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Know the “pain of farmers”

As the chief minister made the announcement, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda asked him, "You talk of farmers, then why you slap NSA (National Security Act) on peaceful farmers. Farmers are protesting on Haryana's borders".

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In response, Khattar said the budget is being taken up and in that, he is touching upon steps for farmers' welfare.

"As much farmers are dear to you, they are to us also".

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"I have ploughed the field. I am a farmer. I am a son of a farmer … I know the pain of farmers. When I have announced a scheme in favour of farmers, either you are not able to digest it or are not liking it," Khattar said.

While Hooda was intervening, Khattar said it is for those who do not pay on time. The number of defaulting farmers is 5,47,900 and their principal amount is Rs 2,140 crore but the interest and penalty amount is Rs 1,739 crore and I announce a waiver of Rs 1,739 crore.

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Reacting to the CM's announcement, Hooda later told reporters: "The government should have announced loan waiver straightaway as farmers are under heavy debt...there is nothing much in the budget".

On Friday, Haryana Police said it was withdrawing the earlier decision to invoke provisions of the NSA against some farmer leaders who are part of the ongoing farmers' agitation.

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Describing farmers as the backbone of the economy, Khattar said the government has taken various measures for their benefit as a result of which agricultural production has grown at 8.1 per cent in 2023-24, amongst the highest in the country.

With inputs from PTI. 

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Published February 23rd, 2024 at 21:03 IST