CNN-IBN series takes on finance minister's 'pre-poll gimmick'

NEW DELHI: CNN-IBN is going to start a politico-economic series to take on the UPA government in general and the finance minister in particular with The Sixty Thousand Crore Loan Waiver, throughout this week.

In the series, CNN-IBN is going to evaluate "the possible merits, if any, of this so-called panacea to the rising farmer suicides," a statement from the channel says.

Throughout the week, CNN-IBN's flagship news bulletin, India at 9, will bring stories from across the country that look at the state of farmers from some of the worst-affected areas, including how banks are grappling and how political parties are politicising the entire situation in their favour.

"The series is aimed at unearthing the real impact of the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver on those it is supposed to help. It sheds light on the plight and state of farmers across the country, for whom nothing really changes," says CNN-IBN and IBN7 editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai.

The channel believes that the farm loan waiver is expected to benefit thirty million small and medium farmers, but in fact the figure is nothing like it.

The channel statement says that the waiver is in fact only applicable to loans taken from established and recognised banks for less than 2.5 hectares of land.

"However, a majority of the affected farmers either own more than 2.5-hectares of land and/or borrowed money from private moneylenders," it adds.

Therefore, this means that they are exempted from the waiver and that in reality it is just a pre-poll political gimmick.

The series takes viewers through places like Bundelkhand, Vidarbha, Telengana, Haryana and even the finance minster's constituency of Shivganga in Tamil Nadu to showcase ground realities that have been overlooked by the government's otherwise impressive grant.

"Could it be a political carrot dangling before farmers to gain momentum before the upcoming elections? CNN-IBN finds out," says the statement.

In addition, the series also lays focus on the growing migration of people from areas like the Azamgarh-Varanasi belt to the big cities in search of urban opportunities. For these former farmers, agriculture is no longer an option and jobs in metropolises seem more alluring.

The Sixty Thousand Crore Loan Waiver is a series that looks into the reality of the Budget's most-hyped provision and how everything is not what meets the eye!

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