BJP, Cong lock horns over Centre’s farm loan subsidy

RSTV Bureau

A day after the Union Cabinet slashed the interest rates on farmers’ loans and approved the interest subvention scheme, the Congress party on Thursday lashed out at the Centre and asked them to stop fooling the farmers and have a ‘reality check’ instead.

Congress claimed that BJP government at the Centre discontinued UPA’s interest subvention plan and re introduced after farmers took to streets demanding loan waiver.

File photo of Cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Modi. Photo-PTI

File photo of Cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Modi.

The Congress further said that Centre took this decision out of fear following the Mandsaur firing, where six farmers lost their lives during an agitation.

“The BJP should stop befooling people and the farmers. They are not providing any extra relief. The interest subvention scheme was introduced by UPA government in 2007-08 which was discontinued by the BJP government in 2017-18 by way of concerted conspiracy. After the Mandsaur firing the BJP government got scared and has now continued this scheme. They are trying to get false credit,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Surjewala further demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apology for not continuing the scheme.

File Photo of Maharashtra Farmers' protest.

File Photo of Maharashtra Farmers’ protest.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday slashed interest rates on farmers’ loans by as much as 4 per cent. Earlier the rate of interest was 9 percent which has now been reduced to 5 percent on loan up to Rs 3 lakh limit.

It has also cleared the interest subvention scheme for farmers. Government has decided that crop loans of up to Rs 3 lakh will be made available to the prompt payee farmers at 4 percent interest rate only.

It also approved the total expenditure of Rs 20,339 crore in the current financial year as Interest subsidy on short-term crop loans.

The Cabinet decision came at a time when the farmers in various parts of India are protesting to get their farm loans waived.