Jaipur: Following in the footsteps of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Assam government, the Rajasthan government too announced a farm loan waiver for loans up to Rs 2 lakh. The state government will bear the burden of a total amount Rs 18,000 crore.

Newly-elected Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said that farm loan waiver will be a top priority for the Congress apart from the slew of promises made by them in its election manifesto called ‘Jan Ghoshna Patra’. Gehlot had said that the Rajasthan government will waive off the loans of farmers in a span of ten days before taking oath as the Rajasthan CM.

Rajasthan Deputy CM, Sachin Pilot had also promised that the Congress will waive off farmers’ loan once the party forms the government in the state. The farm equipment will be freed from the GST, he had said.

Madhya Pradesh CM, Kamal Nath also waived loans of farmers up to Rs 2 lakh each, delivering on the Congress pre-poll promise of cancelling farm loans within 10 days of coming to power. Addressing the press conference, the CM had said, “After joining this post (of Chief Minister), the first file I have signed is of farm loan waiver of Rs 2 lakh each, as I had promised to the farmers.”

The BJP government in Assam also came to the rescue of around eight lakh farmers of the state. Reports said the government has approved Rs 600 crore farm loan waiver.

Farm loan waiver is a major issue in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting held on December 17. Assam Minister CM Patowary had said, “The state Cabinet decided to give relief to farmers and decided to refund 25 per cent of their loans due in banks. Secondly, there’ll be a cap of Rs 25,000 for each farmer. Farmers who already paid their loans will be treated as ‘smart farmers’. They’ll also get this 25 per cent.”

BJP’s Odisha unit has also promised to waive farm loans in the state if the party comes to power in the 2019 Assembly elections. On Tuesday, the Gujarat government waived Rs 625 crore energy bill dues of rural users.