The Centre would soon come out with a debt relief package for coffee growers, Union Minister for Law and Justice, M. Veerappa Moily said on Saturday.
“Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma has circulated a paper on the proposed relief package to be offered to coffee growers and the matter is under different stages of discussion”, he said.
A note on the issue was under circulation in the Cabinet, Moily said at the 51st annual meeting of the Karnataka Planters Association (KPA) here.
The Coffee Board had earlier worked out a scheme to extend debt relief to the extent of Rs. 502 crore, he said adding he had recommended to the Commerce Ministry to scale it up to Rs. 802 crore. “May be that part is under discussion now,” he said. The banks have been told not to resort to coercive methods to recover loans, Moily said.
Coffee growers have been urging to the government for a waiver of entire Rs. 1,700 crore loans they obtained from the banks.
The government has set a target to achieve four per cent growth in agriculture sector by the end of 11th Plan and it was crucial to reach 9 to 10 per cent GDP growth, Moily added.
Responding to apprehensions expressed by KPA over the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement that will come into force during mid next year, he said, “there is no escape from it, but we have put in place the required safeguards,”.
Issues concerning amendment of labour laws to help coffee growers would be addressed, he said.