Bhopal (MP), Dec 18 (PTI) Former Madhya Pradesh finance minister Jayant Malaiya Tuesday said newly-anointed Chief Minister Kamal Nath announced the farm loan waiver in a “haste” and without planning, as he is under “pressure” to keep the poll promise.
The BJP leader also said the “short term” loan waiver is primarily being given to the farmers for the purchase of seeds and fertilisers.
Hours after he was administered the oath of office by Governor Anandiben Patel on Monday, Nath cleared a proposal of waiving farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh as promised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi ahead of assembly polls.
After Nath signed the relevant file, the Farmers’ Welfare and Agriculture Development department issued an order in this regard.
Speaking to reporters, Malaiya also dismissed the Congress’ charge that erstwhile BJP government was responsible for the “fiscal mess” in Madhya Pradesh.
“Kamal Nathji has announced the loan waiver hurriedly under pressure, as Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had maintained during his pre-poll rallies that he will fire new chief minister of Madhya Pradesh if he fails to grant a loan waiver within 10 days of Congress coming to power”, he said.
Malaiya also said the new government didn’t chalk out the “nitty-gritty” of the loan waiver before announcing it.
Addressing a public rally on June 7 at Pipliya Mandi in Mandsaur district, Gandhi had announced his party would waive farm loans within 10 of coming to power in the state.
Later, this announcement was included in the Congress manifesto, titled `Vachan Patra’.
Malaiya said, “the waiver would cost the state exchequer Rs 50,000 crore. This is primarily a short term loan waiver of Rs 2 lakh which is meant for the purchase of seeds and fertilisers”.
When asked if the state under BJP was running on an overdraft, the former minister said, “Madhya Pradesh borrowings stood at around Rs 1.60 lakh crore but it was not running on overdraft”.
“The (erstwhile) government had Rs 3000 crore in the state exchequer on November 27, a day before the elections were held”, he said.
Ending the BJP rule of 13 years, the Congress won 114 assembly seats and secured the support of seven more MLAs – SP (1) and BSP (2) and four independents – to cross the majority mark of 116 in the 230-member Assembly.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.