Congress President Rahul Gandhi is addressing Rajasthan farmers in a rally on 9th January. The grand old party has been promising farmer loan waivers if they get voted to power and while Madhya Pradesh was quick to implement, Rajasthan farmers are still waiting for the go-ahead. Considering the Gandhi scion these days is quite fond of asking questions, we have a bunch of our own to ask him.
- What is the difference between a loan waiver and loan write-off? Considering you keep referring to corporate loan write-off as ‘waive off’, I would like to know whether your basics are at least sorted in the beautiful mind of yours.
- Despite your promise of waiving off farm loans within 10 days of assuming power, why has Rajasthan not yet implemented farm loan waiver?
- Despite the implementation of farm loan waiver in Congress-ruled states, why are farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka committing suicides?
- Why the ‘terms and conditions‘ in loan waiver? Why were these not included in your list of promises or in the manifesto? Farmers, taking your promises on face value had stopped repaying their loans, with a drop of 10% in loan repayment. What about those farmers left high and dry because of your populist promise? Also, who will bear the brunt of those unpaid loans by those farmers who could afford to pay but didn’t because of your promises? I hope you are ashamed.
- In Karnataka, despite your loan waiver promises, ‘defaulting’ farmers’ face arrest. Private banks have started filing criminal cases against defaulting farmers. What is going on?
- In Rajasthan, while Ashok Gehlot has ‘announced’ Rs. 2 lakh farm loan waiver, banks have reportedly denied loans for Kharif crop since the process of loan waiving has not started. What exactly is your plan?
- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, all three states where Congress formed the government last month, have ‘low fiscal space’ to implement the loan waiver, says a report.
F for Fiscal Space: Financial well-being and flexibility of the government.
As per a CARE Rating report, while the cumulative farmer loan waiver amounts to Rs 62,000 crore, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh each have additional fiscal space of Rs 3,120 crore, Rs 3,095 crore and Rs 1,195 crore. How do you plan to keep your promise?
- Economists, including former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, have expressed their concerns over farmer loan waiver promises. They believe it will spoil the credit culture and have even appealed against making such populist promises. So what is your next step after waiving off loans?
- You had promised potato chips factories and tomato ketchup factories near the relevant farms. Have you finally realised that was a silly, hollow promise?
- You, Rahul Gandhi, and Sonia Gandhi are out on bail. If you are indicted, you might go to jail. If you do go to jail, what is the value of any promise that you have made to the farmers?