The former Union agriculture minister was touring the flood-affected areas of Kolhapur and Sangli districts on Wednesday.
Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday demanded a complete crop loan waiver for agriculturists affected by the recent deluge in Western Maharashtra.
The former Union minister said that the UPA government had waived farm loans to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore at a time when there was no immediate crisis, hence there is no reason why government cannot do the same. The former Union agriculture minister was touring the flood-affected areas of Kolhapur and Sangli districts on Wednesday.
Western Maharashtra, including Sangli, Kolhapur, Pune, Satara and Solapur have been adversely affected by floods and heavy rains.
Speaking with the reporters, Mr Pawar said that it was wrong to compare the present situation with the 2005 deluge. “This time, even houses at a higher altitude suffe-red damage; therefore, a permanent solution is needed to tackle the flood situation,” Mr Pawar said.
On the rehabilitation of flood-affected people, the 79-year-old parliamentarian said that victims should be provided new houses by the government and their quality should be maintained.
The Nationalist Congress Party president also demanded credit for the farmers for fresh sowing following the unprecedented floods, which had damaged crops on several thousand hectares in the region.
He said thousands of hectares of sugarcane fields have been completely destroyed, but the loans taken by farmers from cooperative societies would remain as they were.
Mr Pawar said, “We would urge the government to grant a complete loan waiver for the current year. We demand that a fresh crop loan be granted so that agriculturists can undertake cultivation in affected fields.”
Mr Pawar had also addressed a gathering at Kavathesar village in Shirol taluka of Kolhapur district, which was badly affected.
He also said that the sugarcane crop had been damaged owing to excessive waterlogging.
Mr Pawar also suggested that as the sugarcane crop has completely been damaged, it is better to plant fresh sugarcanes.