Kerala asks centre to provide funds for farm loan waiver

September 9th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Kalpetta (Kerala), Sep 9 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Tuesday said cooperative banks in the state are facing a crisis as the central government has not yet provided them funds under the loan waiver scheme announced for farmers.He said the state government, under its debt relief scheme, has already provided the money to the banks. The chief minister was speaking at the inauguration of the state government’s debt relief scheme for farmers at Kalpetta, the headquarters of Wayanad district.

Under the scheme, around 15,000 farmers, identified by the Kerala State Debt Relief Commission, will get debt relief. The debt relief scheme provides for waiver of loans up to Rs.25,000 taken from cooperative banks. Only those with land up to one acre are eligible for the loan waiver under the scheme.

“In the next few days, around 15,000 farmers in the district can collect their documents of debt relief from 36 cooperative banks,” Achuthanandan said.

In the last two years, a large number of farmers committed suicide in Wayanad district as they could not repay loans following crop failures and due to fall in the price agriculture produces.

Commenting on the food shortage faced by the state, the chief minister said the government will take stern measures to prevent reclamation of rice paddy. He said in the last 50 years the area of rice paddy in the state fell from 900,000 hectares to 264,000 hectares. Kerala depends on supply from outside to meet 80 percent of its food requirements.

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