Kerala

Rahul seeks moratorium on repayment of crop loans

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, MP, has urged the Central government to provide moratorium on repayment of short-term crop loans of farmers in the country till December 31, 2021, and waive all penal interest.

In a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, Mr. Gandhi said that the farmers across the country were in an acute distress owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of farmers in his constituency, Wayanad, were small and marginal farmers and they were depending on cash crops for their livelihood, Mr. Gandhi said.

Many parts of the State were devastated by two consecutive years of flooding in 2018 and 2019.

Just as the farmers were on their road to recovery, the pandemic struck, severely heightening the agrarian distress. Currently, farmers availed of short term crop loans at a concessional rate under the interest subvention scheme.

However, factors including multiple lockdowns, disruptions in the supply chain, and limited market access had severely affected farm incomes. “Mounting debts coupled with future economic uncertainty has affected the ability of our farmers to repay the loan on time,” Mr. Gandhi said, adding that he had been receiving representations requesting for a moratorium on payment of short-term crop loans from individuals and organisations in his constituency.

As crores of farmers across the country were similarly placed, a quick intervention by the government was the need of the hour, Mr. Gandhi said.


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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 6:49:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rahul-seeks-moratorium-on-repayment-of-crop-loans/article35615078.ece

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