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Vasundhara waives Rs 8,000-cr farm loan

The Tribune 2018-02-13 01:17:00

Announces tax-free Budget with Rs 650 cr relief in various sectors

Presenting a populist Budget on the eve of Assembly polls due in December, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today announced one-time loan waiver of Rs50,000 for small and marginal farmers in the over-due and outstanding category of short-term crop loan provided by cooperative banks with a deadline of September 30, 2017. “The loan waiver will benefit nearly 20 lakh farmers but will cost the state exchequer Rs8000 crore,” Raje, who is also holding the finance portfolio, told the Rajasthan Assembly. A permanent institution titled Rajasthan State Farmer Loan Relief Commission would be set up to deal with farmers’ loan and other related matters on routine and merit basis, Raje said in her 140-minute speech. The government would provide an interest subsidy of Rs384 crore and Rs160 crore for compensation interest subsidy on short-term crop loans to farmers through central cooperative banks, she proposed. Despite facing five minutes of uproar and interruption by Congress’ Leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi, Raje said it would be tax-free Budget with relief to the tune of Rs650 crore in many important sectors of industry, housing, stamp duty and registration. In a major boost to realty sector and ongoing SC ban on mining of “bajri” (sand gravel), the CM announced that instead of large mines, small mining leases of “bajri” would be granted through auction so that people were benefited through price reduction. “Over 1.81 lakh new taxpayers have been added under GST, which is more than 35 per cent as compared to the VAT regime,” she said. The revenue has increased by receiving compensation of Rs1,911 crore up to October 2017. Amraram, vice-president of the Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sabha, said it was incomplete relief to farmers as middle-level farmers were deprived of the benefit. Congress PCC chief Sachin Pilot said: “It’s an insufficient relief. The BJP has ditched farmers despite being aware of the rising number of suicide cases in the past four years.”

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