Good News for MP Farmers: Congress Government May Review Farm Schemes
The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh may review several schemes initiated by the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government to fund the party’s promise to waive farm loans of up to Rs 2 lakh, government officials familiar with the matter said. The agriculture department estimates the loan waiver to cost Rs 35,000 crore.
The state spent about Rs 5.50 crore in the last financial year on the scheme introduced in 2016, according to forest department officials.
“We are compiling all the schemes introduced by the previous government and the money spent on these schemes. The status report will be presented before the state cabinet to take a call,” said a senior officer familiar with the matter who asked not to be named.
The previous government introduced several schemes such as the Sambal Yojna, Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojna, Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna, Ladli Laxmi Yojna, and Krishak Samridhi Yojna targeted at senior citizens, women, farmers, poor households and students.
Under the Sambal scheme, the government provides electricity at a flat rate of Rs 200 a month to laborers from the unorganized sector and farmers having up to five acres land; it reimburses the power distribution companies if the monthly bill is over Rs 200. As a result, the government has to spend about Rs 150 crore per month. At least 20 million people have registered for the scheme.
“There is the concern of excessive consumption of power by beneficiaries. The new government will have to look into the same”, said an official in the energy department who asked not to be named.
Government officials said the problem the new state government is confronting is that it may not be able to scrap or modify many of Chouhan’s schemes for fear of alienating people before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.