The Hemant Soren government in Jharkhand waived farm loans of up to Rs 50,000, benefitting around 9 lakh farmers of the state, officials said on Thursday.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, partly fulfilling the promise made by the ruling coalition ahead of the 2019 assembly elections.
The government said that an allocation of Rs 2,000 crore has been made in the current financial year for the waiver.
The ruling coalition had promised to waive farm loans of up to Rs 2 lakh, ahead of the assembly elections last year, if voted to power.
Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon of Congress told PTI that his government has decided to give the benefit of loan waiver to marginal farmers at first, and in the second and third phases, the government will try to waive loans up to Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh, respectively.
Farmers who have availed farm loans of up to Rs 50,000 from any bank until March 31, 2020, will be eligible for the waiver, officials said.
It has also been decided that under the scheme the loan of only one person from a family will be waived, they said.
The farmers who apply for the loan waiver would be charged a service fee of Re 1. The waiver amount will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the farmers, they said.
Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh told PTI that around 9 lakh farmers in the state will be benefitted from this decision.
JMM's spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said the decision to waive farm loans got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, by making the decision ahead of the first anniversary of the Hemant Soren government, the intention to help farmers has been made clear, he added.