Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar has demanded a complete farm loan waiver in drought-affected Maharashtra and also sought an appointment with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over the issue, his party said on Monday.
Mr Pawar's meeting with Mr Fadnavis may take place in two days, NCP chief spokesperson Malik said in a statement in Mumbai.
"Swathes of Maharashtra are reeling under drought. Pawar Saheb has been touring affected parts of the state. He has demanded a complete loan waiver for farmers," he said.
Malik accused the Bhartiya Janata Party-led government of not paying adequate attention towards fodder camps and water arrangements for the livestock in the drought-hit areas.
"Farmers' orchards have become dry, which means heavy losses for them. Therefore, a complete loan waiver must be given," Malik added.
In June 2017, the Fadnavis government had announced a scheme, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana, to write off unpaid farm loans amid rising incidents of suicide by cultivators due to crop failures or falling prices and rising input costs.
At that time, the size of the loan waiver was pegged at Rs 34,022 crore.
In February this year, the government had said as part of the scheme, a sum of Rs 24,000 crore has been sanctioned for 51 lakh farmer accounts and of this, Rs 18,036 crore already transferred to over 43 lakh agriculturists.