Bhopal: The farm loan waiver offered by the Congress party to the farmers in Madhya Pradesh is estimated to cost at least Rs 50,000 crore, stated a report. As per a gazette released by the finance department, Madhya Pradesh is already reeling under a debt of Rs 1,60,871.9 crore.

In February 2018, former finance minister Jayant Malaiya reportedly said that every citizen of Madhya Pradesh suffered an average debt burden of Rs 13,853 as of March 31, 2016. According to a report by Times of India, the outstanding crop loan found by the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) was close to Rs 75,000 crore as of March 31, 2018. Of the total amount, around Rs 46,000 crore was disbursed to 40 lakh farmers in the year 2017-18, with Rs 20,000 crore provided during the first quarter of the fiscal year, added the SLBC data.

Principal secretary co-operatives, KC Gupta was quoted as saying, “About Rs 17,500 farm loan has been disbursed to nearly 33 lakh farmers from all over the state through co-operative banks.” Data on loans below Rs 2 lakh and loans given to marginal farmers is being gathered from banks across the state. A team of bureaucrats from Madhya Pradesh had visited Maharashtra and Punjab to collect data on the farm loan waiver provided last year. Principal secretary Rajesh Rajora was quoted by Times of India as saying, “We are sending a technical team to understand the software of the portal developed by Punjab government. We will develop our own portal and ensure that it becomes operational as soon as the decision is made.”

Orders were issued on Friday to send a technical team to Chandigarh in order to learn about the functioning of the portal developed by the Punjab government for executing the farm loan waiver process.

Reports claimed that the estimated debts in the farm loans of up to Rs 2 lakh category could be between Rs 50,000 crore and Rs 54,000 crore, considering the Congress’ manifesto to waive off the loan.