State agriculture minister Prabhu Lal Saini on Tuesday said that the Rajasthan government will bring a different model ensuring that farmers do not fall in the debt trap.
After the sub-committee meeting formed to study various models for farmer loan waiver, Saini told HT that, “Our chief minister is serious on the issue of farmer loan waiver. We intend to work on such a policy which makes farmers loan free, instead of loan waiver.”
He said that a team from Rajasthan had visited Kerala, where a commission has been constituted. In Kerala, a farmer who wants to get rid of his loan approaches the commission, and thereafter the commission takes a decision. “We are not copying the model here. We will bring a different model ensuring that a farmer does not fall into the debt trap again and again,” he said.
Saini said apart from Kerala other models adopted by states such as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra is also being studied. “All the suggestions received will be submitted to the chief minister,” he added.
In the next meeting of the sub-committee, other aspects related to the loan waiver will be discussed such as financial implications.
Sub-committee chairperson, irrigation minister Dr Ram Pratap said, “Discussions were held on various aspects. The team, which had visited Kerala met farmer and officials there and have submitted the report. We are working on a model which provides relief to farmers.”
In September, the Rajasthan government had announced a Rs 20,000 crore farm-loan waiver after a two-week-long protest that saw thousands of farmers pouring in from across the state to narrate stories of agricultural distress. The announcement – which waived loans of up to Rs 50,000 – had come after an 11-hour marathon meeting. The government then had constituted a high-level team that will study the loan waiver process applied in states such as Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab.