Tamil Nadu government announces agricultural loan waiver worth Rs 12,110 crore

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A few months before the assembly elections, the AIADMK government of Tamil Nadu on Friday announced the waiver of Rs 12,110 crore crop loans enjoyed by 16.43 lakh farmers from cooperative banks.

Making the announcement to the state assembly, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the scheme would come into effect immediately and a government decree would be issued while the required financial allocation would be made in the interim budget.

Affirming “I am a farmer too”, Palaniswami said it was his first duty to address farmers’ grievances and ruling party MPs hailed his announcement by banging on desks as the opposition benches were vacant.

The main opposition party DMK, which staged a march ahead of the governor’s speech on February 2, had already announced a boycott of the session. Assembly elections are likely in April or early May in Tamil Nadu.

The waiver would pave the way for 16.43 lakh farmers to continue cultivation without hassle, Palaniswami said.

In his reaction, DMK leader MK Stalin said that since he had promised a crop loan waiver after his party took power, Palaniswami has now made the announcement as the chief minister does not had no other choice.

He was addressing an election campaign in Tuticorin.

Palaniswami did not give up the loan in view of the welfare of the farmers, but out of selfishness, in view of the Assembly elections, Stalin said, adding that “people know this very well”.

Palaniswami, targeting the DMK, said the party promised two acres of land to landless farmers ahead of the 2006 assembly elections but they couldn’t keep the promise and people knew it and that is the truth.

Similarly, in the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, opposition leader and DMK leader Stalin ensured the waiver of loans to farmers in cooperative societies.

After winning 38 out of 39 constituencies, DMK forgot the promise it made to the people.

“This is the routine they follow in every election,” he said, adding that the AIADMK was the only party that kept its promises. His party gave assurances that could be honored and also proposed new social protection measures, Palaniswami said.

After winning the polls and retaining power in 2016, the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa forfeited agricultural loans of Rs 5,318.73 crore, benefiting 12.02 lakh small and micro farmers. In 2017, his government provided the ryots with drought relief of Rs 2,247 crore.

Farmers faced difficulties due to COVID-19, back-to-back cyclones Nivar and Burevi last year, in addition to off-season rains which caused heavy damage to crops ready for harvesting, he said. he declares.

Considering their welfare, agricultural input aid of Rs 1,717 crore for 16.43 million farmers was ordered and the amount was credited directly to their bank accounts, he said.

Although this measure helps them, the government wanted to give them additional support to help them continue to cultivate. In addition, farmers and various farmers’ associations have urged the government to waive crop loans in view of the crop damage, the chief minister said and announced the waiver of crop loans.

Ministers and Vice President Pollachi V Jayaraman hailed the Chief Minister for this initiative.

Speaker P Dhanapal hailed the move on behalf of the House and MPs could be seen walking towards Palaniswami to greet and thank him for the crop loan waiver. Some legislators touched his feet and took his blessings.

The AIADMK’s allies in the Lok Sabha polls, the PMK and the DMDK, welcomed the announcement.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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