Insisting that the BJP government wasn't against a loan waiver, Fadnavis said that he had been making serious efforts and had invested Rs 30,500 crore - equivalent to the amount needed for a loan waiver - to make farming sustainable. "We need to make an allocation of Rs 30,500 crore if we decide to go in for farm loan waiver".
The delegation would meet Union ministers for finance and agriculture, Fadnavis said in a statement on the demand for a farm loan waiver by the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
In an attempt to end the deadlock in Maharashtra legislature over crop loan waiver, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, accompanied by a delegation of Shiv Sena members of his cabinet, met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi on Friday.
Fadnavis's contention came in response to the aggressive demand by the opposition and ruling ally Shiv Sena for waiver of farm loans, an issue that continued to disrupt the ongoing Budget session proceedings for the second week. All these years, expenditure on agriculture investment had been very less, he said, adding that since his government came to power, capital expenditure on agriculture and allied sectors is ₹19,434 crore.
Fadnavis reiterated that his Government was not opposed to farm loan waiver but wanted that the decision, when taken, to benefit farmers. Your are just shedding crocodile tears.
"Farmers are paying for your sins over 15 years".
In comparison, the government is spending Rs 19,434 in agriculture, Rs 2,000 crore for insurance, Rs 8,000 crore as compensation for natural calamities and Rs 1,500 for various agro-related schemes.
While assuring the House that he would visit Delhi to hold discussions with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to seek more financial assistance for farmers, Fadnavis said, "The Congress and NCP's protest on loan waiver is pure politics and not really meant to serve the larger interests of the farmers". He said if loan waiver is announced, the government will have no money for investment in agriculture sector.
He asserted that a crop loan waiver will not help stop suicides by farmers. "We are not against loan waiver but we are deliberating on when and how it should be done", Fadnavis said. If the Opposition parties are clamouring the farm loan waiver, it is because that they want to help the district co-operative banks run by them which are involved in irregularities.
Talking to media persons, leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil charged that through his statement, the Chief Minister had tried to "mislead" the people.
The response of Shiv Sena ministers after the meeting was unenthusiastic.
Earlier, speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Sena leader and MLA Anil Kadam said the State should get financial assistance from the Centre within next two days for announcing the loan waiver. "But their concern is to cover up the corruption in the banks by infusing more funds availed through crop loan", he said.