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Lockdown | Farmers’ group demands waiver of all crop loans

AIKSCC flags impact of lockdown on procurement, sales

Farmers groups are planning a nationwide campaign to demand full loan waiver in the light of coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, accusing the government of not keeping it’s promise to procure produce at minimum support prices from the fields. This will start with a social media campaign on May 4 and 5, and will be followed by wider agitations and protests as the lockdown is lifted, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) said.

 

The working group of the AIKSCC, an umbrella platform of more than 200 farmers groups, met on Sunday to discuss the impact of the lockdown on farmers and others dependent on the agricultural economy. They noted the difficulties of harvesting during the shutdown, with transport unavailable and many mandis closed. Untimely rain and hailstorms also destroyed standing crops in several areas, exacerbating losses.

“Under conditions of blockade and restricted private purchase, the government promised them procurement from the field at Minimum Support Prices. Unfortunately this promise largely remained confined to government claims, its weighment centres remained non-functional in most places and to top it all, it placed several restrictions on quantity to be procured in mandis and it ordered severe deductions due to allegedly shrivelled grains,” said the AIKSCC statement.

 

The farmers’ body claimed that the Centre was not ready to provide relief to farmers facing difficulty with repaying crop loans or getting new loans, although ₹68,700 worth of bad corporate loans have been waived off.

“AIKSCC has decided to launch a nationwide campaign for loan waiver of all farmers, particularly the demand to immediately waive off the entire Kisan Credit Card loan and renew its new allocation without conditions,” said the statement.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 1:12:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lockdown-farmers-group-demands-waiver-of-all-crop-loans/article31503034.ece

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