Loan waiver for farmers welcomed in Kerala

February 29th, 2008 - 7:44 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

Kozhikode (Kerala), Feb 29 (IANS) Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s budget proposal for outstanding farm loans’ waiver has been welcomed by the people in Kerala. “The loan waiver for farmers is most welcome and I was looking forward to it. We will use it in the most fruitful way to the benefit of the farmers,” state Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said.

“Though, the budget proposes loan waiver, it is not clear how the government would implement it or whether the burden of this scheme will be passed on to the states,” he said.

Chidambaram has announced loan waiver to the tune of Rs.600 billion that is expected to benefit nearly 30 million farmers across the country.

“For Kerala, the farm loan waiver would come to the tune of Rs.30 billion,” the minister said.

“We welcome the move, but it is an admission of failure of the agricultural policy of this government,” he added.

Organizations working among farmers in Kerala were euphoric about the loan waiver move.

“It is a most welcome development. The farmers’ organizations were persistently demanding it. It is heartening that farmers will get waiver from public sector banks which were not so keen about giving concessions to farmers,” Antony Kozhuvanal, a Catholic priest and the national general secretary of Indian Farmers’ Movement (Infam), told IANS.

“The package announced for plantation sector and the waiver of loans will certainly help change rural economy in the state,” he added.

Infam is currently conducting a campaign across the state to highlight the plight of farmers in the state. Kerala, especially Wayanad district, witnessed a number of suicides of farmers due to their financial distress.

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