While farmers have been reeling under financial crisis and poor monsoons across India, what the Uttar Pradesh government did to its farmers can only be called a sick joke.
In a bid to fulfil their poll promise of waiving off farmers’ loans the Yogi Adityanath government has waived off loans for a few farmers to the tune of only 19 paise.
Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh Government had announced waiver on loans up to Rs 1 lakh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had made a similar promise during an election rally in Kannauj district in February.
"The government waived only 19 paisa. I have spent a lot till now, have visited a number of officials, but it’s sad that I have only received 19 paisa of relief," said a farmer Ishwar Dayal to New Indian Express.
He said that the village is laughing at them, and that they don’t know who is gaining, but the farmers are certainly not gaining anything.
Another farmer Lalaram received a compensation of 50 paisa from the government.
“We are very sad with this. It would have been better had they not given anything,” he said.
At a programme on Monday, some 7,000 farmers were handed over certificates notifying the amount of their loans waived. According to official data, some 50 farmers got less than Rs 100 of their outstanding loans waived while the benefit for 200 of them was less than Rs 1,000 each, reported Hindustan Times.
State agricultural minister Surya Pratap Sahi, however, insisted the government was only living up to its promise. “Where is the surprise if the government has distributed the certificate to a farmer waiving Rs 100 or even less if that is the amount the farmer actually owed to the bank?” he asked. “After all, we cannot make his dues bigger or smaller.”
“There are also farmers who have had Rs 90,000 and more of their loans waived,” Sahi told HT.
Opposition leaders have said that the move by the UP government is laughable. They said that the government is only trying to increase the number of beneficiaries but not the amount that will actually benefit the farmers.