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Anna Hazare says loan waiver to farmers a waste of public money

New Delhi(PTI): Social activist Anna Hazare has opposed the loan waiver given to farmers, saying that they were a waste of taxpayers money.

Anna Hazare says loan waiver to farmers a waste of public money

Hazare’s opposition comes amid demand from political parties like Shiv Sena, NCP to waive off debt of poor farmers.

Speaking to a leading daily, Hazare said that this is just a political gimmick and loan waiver has never helped farmers in the past. He said, “Such waivers make the farmers dependent and helpless. The government should not consider the demands for loan waivers (made by the opposition).”

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Blaming politicians for drought situation, Hazare also alleged that political leaders are not interested in welfare of farmers and the government should bring a law where banks will be able to provide interest-free agriculture loans.

Hazare has also warned that water is going to be a major issue in the future and severe drought could lead to inter-state fights over water.

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Meanwhile, a proposal has been mooted by the Maharashtra government to declare an area as drought-hit if it receives less than 50% of average rainfall between June and July as against the earlier criterion of less than 75% precipitation in the said months.

A state Cabinet sub-committee has drafted new field crop yield assessment norms and changed the parameters as per which Maharashtra government may declare an area as drought- affected.

Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said the report of the sub-committee has been placed before the state Cabinet, which will consider it at its next meeting.

The report seeks to amend the Drought Manual 2009, whereby the terminology of “drought-like situation” will be replaced with a clearly defined term, “drought”, he said.