New Delhi: After Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel announced farm loan waiver, Gujarat government on Tuesday declared that it will waive off electricity bills of connection holders in rural areas to the tune of Rs 625 crore.
The development came after Congress-led states MP and Chhattisgarh waived off farm loans and put pressure on the Centre to take appropriate steps in the same direction. Congress President Rahul Gandhi earlier in the day said, “We have already acted on farm loan waivers in a few hours. PM Modi could not do this in the last four years. We will make sure farm loans are waived off. We will not let PM Modi sleep peacefully until he waives those loans.”
However, it must be noted that the announcement by the Gujarat government is limited to rural areas. The move will benefit at least 6 lakh 22 thousand rural households.
“Total 6.22 lakh connection holders in rural areas across the state will be benefited with this waiver to the tune of Rs 650 crore pending electricity bills,” Gujarat’s energy minister Saurabh Patel said. The minister said these connections were cut off due to power theft and non-payment of bills. “These are domestic, agricultural as well as commercial connections,” Patel said.
For the unversed, immediately after taking oath as MP CM, Kamal Nath cleared the farmers’ loan waiver file. The loans of farmers up to Rs 2 lakh will be waived off, the order stated, adding that loans extended by all the nationalised and cooperative banks would be covered in the announcement, the order further said.
Following suit, within hours of being sworn-in as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Bhupesh Baghel too announced the farm loan waiver amounting to Rs 61 billion. The new government has also decided to raise the minimum support price of paddy to Rs 2,500 per quintal.