NCP: waive outstanding farm loans

Special Correspondent

‘Stop coercive recovery methods’

‘Red notice’ drove a farmer to suicide recently

Party demands probe into supply of fake seed

BHUBANESWAR: Fearing a spate of farmers’ suicide in the State in the coming days, the Orissa unit of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday demanded waiver of all outstanding agricultural loans.

Giving details of the alleged suicide by a farmer in Sambalpur district due to crop failure and inability to repay farm loans, the NCP leaders blamed the Naveen Patnaik Government for making tall claims about farmers’ welfare without doing anything for the benefit of farmers.

“The ground reality is entirely different from what the government has been claiming,” party leader Bijoy Mohapatra said at a press conference here.

White paper sought

Mr. Mohapatra and other leaders who visited the village in Jamankira block where Ramachandra Rana, a farmer, committed suicide on December 17, demanded that the State Government come out with a whitepaper on agricultural loans availed of by farmers from various cooperative societies and banks across the State.

Stating that the total amount of farm loans availed of by farmers would be some Rs. 400 crores, Mr. Mohapatra demanded that the State government waive the loans to prevent farmers from taking the extreme step.

Rana was issued a ‘red notice’ by the Kulundi Cooperative Society asking him to repay the loan of Rs. 15,615 or face registration of a case against him.

Crop failure

“Such coercive measures against farmers should be stopped forthwith,” Mr. Mohapatra said.

The NCP leaders said the farmer failed to repay his loan due to crop failure.

The paddy seed that he purchased from government agencies did not give any yield, they said.

Not a lone case

They further said that Rana’s was not a lone case in the area. A number of farmers had been issued similar notices.

The party demanded that the government order a probe to know about the “fake seeds” being supplied to farmers.

“Unless the government waives the loans, there will be many more such incidents in Sambalpur and other parts of the State,” they warned.

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