Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is examining the peospects of farm loan waiver, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik indicated Wednesday.
Poll-bound Odisha may well follow in the footsteps of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattishgarh which have announced waiver of farm loans.
"We are examining the matter," Patnaik told reporters on the sidelines of a function here without elaborating.
As per estimates, the state will have to shell out over Rs 40,000 crore if it wants to write off the debt as of now. Opposition Congress and the BJP have earlier promised that they would go for farm loan waiver if elected to power in the 2019 Assembly elections.
It may be noted that Patnaik had sided with the farmers right after the results of the state assembly elections of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram were declared on December 11.
"The central BJP government has done very little for the farmers as regards minimum support price (MSP) and implementation of MS Swaminathan Committee recommendations.
The NDA government has ignored the farmers," Patnaik had said in his initial reactions.
Odisha's Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy had also said that the state government was sympathetic towards farmers and considering the proposal of farm loan waiver.
"The Odisha government will be requiring a whopping Rs 40,000 crore if it decides to go for total agriculture loan waiver," a leading banker said.