Seeking loan waiver has become fashion these days: Venkaiah Naidu

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Many state governments including the BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and Congress governments in Punjab and Karnataka have recently announced farm loan waivers.

The Aam Aadmi Party and the CPI (M) attacked him for his comment that seeking loan waivers had become a "fashion".

This comes a day after Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah urged PM Narendra Modi to waive farm loans taken from commercial and nationalised banks as well. This is not right.

"Despite strong demand by suffering farmers for loan waiver bythe Centre there was no response and Finance Minister Arun Jaitleyrepeatedly rejected. I was referring to the approach of the political parties particularly of going to the level of populist schemes like giving grinders, mixies, and lollipops to children", Naidu said.

BJP leader and Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday that loan waivers have become a fashion.

Addressing a gathering during a launch of Pune's municipal bond program, Naidu said, "See what happened to Air India, government has no business to be in business".

Delivering a keynote address in a function at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Venkaiah said, "Loan waiver has become a fashion now".

The Shiv Sena, which partners the BJP in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' government in Maharashtra, has called the union minister's statement "shameful and unfortunate".

In southern Tamil Nadu, reeling from dry weather, a court asked the state government to write off loans to all farmers. Opposition and farmers' leaders have slammed Naidu for his comments.

Earlier in Mumbai, Naidu had said at an event that seeking loan waivers had become a "fashion" now but it was not the final solution and should be considered in extreme situations. Loans should be waived, but in extreme situations only. It's not a final solution.

Naidu, however, later defended his stance, while saying that he was referring to the approach of the political parties who are not focussing on long term, but only short term problems. He said farmers need to get good remunerative price for their produce and care should also be taken of those in distress.

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