“Even if this will create an additional liability of crores of rupees, the government of Kerala is ready to take it as it is committed to the farmers,” said VS Sunil Kumar, the Agriculture Minister.

Relief for Kerala farmers as govt extends period for loan waivers
news Farmers Thursday, June 07, 2018 - 15:25

In what will come as relief to thousands of farmers in Kerala, the LDF government has chosen to extend the period of farm loan waivers.

The loan waiver for farmers in Wayanad district has been extended to March 31,2014 and for the other 13 districts in the state, it is now October 31, 2011.

The Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac on Wednesday tweeted saying, “Loan Waiver for Kerala farmers: All arrears of agricultural loans taken before 31-10-11 referred to Agricultural Debt Relief Commission. For the district of Wayanad the cut off date is 31-10-14”

The initial timeline for the loan waiver in the district of Wayanad was 2011, which is now extended to 2014 and for the rest of the districts in the state, it has been extended by four years from 2007 to 2011.

With this decision, farmers who are eligible for loan waivers under the period of extension, will have to request for the loan waiver. Once this is done, the loan waiver commission will scrutinise the applications received, by holding sittings in each district. It will then issue orders for waiving off the loans.  

As per its election manifesto in 2006, the LDF government in Kerala became the first in India to create a farm loan waiver scheme.

“Even if this will create an additional liability of crores of rupees, the government of Kerala is ready to take it as it is committed to the farmers,” says VS Sunil Kumar, the state Agriculture Minister.

In March this year, the Congress-led UDF asked the LDF government to write off the farm loans, a demand put forward by the CPI(M) in Maharashtra during its recent 'Long March' of farmers in that state.

This move by the Kerala government comes at a time when farmers across the country are protesting for loan waivers.

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