Facing defeat in three Hindi heartland states and taking a lesson from the Congress of waiving farm loans in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the Raghubar Das-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Jharkhand has announced aid to farmers.
The state government has announced a cash assistance of Rs. 5,000 per acre to over 22.76 lakh farmers in the state, which will cost about Rs 2,250 crore to the state exchequer.
During the state assembly election campaigning, Congress President Rahul Gandhi promised to waive off farm loans in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan within 10 days of coming to power and his party did so within two days of forming governments in the three states.
In fact, the Congress had promised to do the same in Karnataka and Punjab and they did fulfil their promise by waiving off loans of farmers in the two states.
In Punjab, one lakh farmers received the highest loan waiver, an average of Rs. 1 lakh each, after the state government’s order stating the same on October 17, 2017.
In Karnataka, each farmer got a loan waiver benefit of Rs. 37,114. Loan of Rs. 8165 crore of 22 lakh farmers was waived by the state government on account of its order in June 2017.
The BJP has finally taken a cue from the Congress and has decided to make up for its blunders.
After the state assembly results were announced on December 11, the Sarbananda Sonowal-led BJP government in Assam announced and approved two schemes. The first scheme announced a waiver of 25 per cent of farm loans and the second one was to provide interest-free loans to farmers through the Kisan Credit Card (KCC).
Even the Gujarat government, on December 18, announced a Rs 625-crore waiver of pending electricity bills of around 6.22 lakh power connections in rural areas of the state which includes agriculture electricity connections as well.
We would only want to one thing to the BJP, better late than never.