Will consider all aspects of farm loan waiver: Odisha Finance Minister

Bhubaneswar: At a time when the Odisha Congress has promised to waive off farm loans in five hours if voted to power, the State government mentioned that it is not competing with other States in waiving farm loans, rather considering all aspects before moving ahead in this regard.

Congress alleged that the BJD has planned a fake protest on MSP hike to mislead the people of Odisha. “BJD is in government in Odisha since last 18 years, but they never thought about the welfare of our farmers. The Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan took just two days to waive off farm loans. Look at the contrast,” tweeted OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik.

“If they really care about the farmers of Odisha, why don’t they announce a bonus on MSP like the Congress party did in Chhattisgarh instead of wasting public money on Shri Naveen Patnaik’s PR?” he added.

Terming the ruling-BJD government is anti-farmer, Patnaik further stated, “For the last 18 years, BJD did nothing for our annadatas. Now the party is getting stomachache when Congress government in Chhattisgarh announced bonus on MSP. The BJD is exposing its anti-farmer face to the people of Odisha.”

However, Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera today said that different political parties are promising waiver of farm loans in order to compete with each other ahead of the elections but the State government is considering all aspects before moving in this regard.

On the other hand, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday had said that farm loan waivers are just a palliative and not a long-term solution for the farmers. “Short-term measures might be required in some states that are facing real farm distress. The Centre does not take a pan-India view on the issue as it would not be fair for farmers in States where the loan exposure is very less,” Kumar had stated.

Terming this as unfavourable for the farming community, the State finance minister said that the Centre should bring a national policy to resolve the issue of farmers.