Lucknow, Nov 22 (IANS) The Akhilesh Yadav−led Uttar Pradesh government Thursday announced a loan waiver for farmers who had mortgaged their agricultural lands and taken loans of up to Rs.50,000 from the state's cooperative banks.
The announcement was timed to coincide with the birthday of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, father of Chief Minister Akhilesh, and is likely to benefit 7.2 lakh farmers in the state.
Akhilesh Yadav made the annoucement Thursday and told reporters that the decision was in line with the promise made by the Samajwadi Party (SP) in its election manifesto.
He said the waiver would apply to all those farmers who have paid back 10 percent of the loan and interest till March 2012.
The chief minister said budgetary allocations had been already made to foot the bill of the waiver, which is likely to cost the exchequer Rs.1,650 crore.
Akhilesh Yadav said his government was committed to the welfare and prosperity of the state's farmers, and many more decisions would be taken in their interest.
He also said that sugarcane support prices would soon be announced.
The state cabinet earlier this week left it to the chief minister to announce the sugarcane support prices.