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TN CM Palaniswami announces ₹12,110-cr crop loans waiver

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on February 05, 2021

Announcement comes ahead of Assembly polls in May; loans availed by 16.43 lakh farmers from co-op banks

 

In a big relief to the farmers in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday announced the waiver of crop loans worth ₹12,110 crore availed by 16.43 lakh farmers through cooperative banks.

Palaniswami said that the farmers in the State were badly affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, two cyclones and unseasonal rains. They need help, he said in the Assembly.

The announcement comes ahead of the Assembly polls due in the State in May.

Also read: Why loan waivers do not curb farmer suicides

The waiver of farm loans is set to become a major election issue. In January, DMK President MK Stalin had promised waiver of farm and jewel loans if his party was elected to power.

When the DMK was elected to power in 2006, the late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi signed waiver of ₹7,000 crore co-operative loans on the day of swearing-in. Similarly, if the DMK returns to power, in four months the farm loans will be cancelled, Stalin said during Pongal celebrations in Tiruvallur district.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit in his customary address to the House on Tuesday said that the State was struck by two cyclonic storms Nivar and Burevi in 2020, and there was unseasonal heavy rainfall in January affecting crops on the verge of harvest.

“The State government presented two Memoranda detailing the damages caused by two cyclones amounting to ₹3,750 crore and ₹1,514 crore respectively, and we urge the Government of India to release funds at the earliest,” he said.

Even without waiting for the release of Central funds, the State Government sanctioned ₹20,000 per hectare as input subsidy for paddy and ₹10,000 per hectare for dry crops, without limiting the amount of relief payable to all farmers who have suffered severe crop damages. A total amount of ₹1,715 crore is being disbursed directly to the bank accounts of 16.78 lakh farmers affected by the two cyclones and unseasonal rains in January. This timely assistance has enabled farmers to overcome their distress, he said.

Waiver of farm loans has already become a major election issue. In January, the DMK President MK Stalin promised that if the party is elected, it will waive farm and jewel loans within four months of coming to power. Whatever Stalin has been saying, Palaniswami is implementing it, the DMK MP Kanimozhi said in a tweet. 

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit in his customary address to the House on Tuesday said that the State was struck by two cyclonic storms Nivar and Burevi in 2020, and there was unseasonal heavy rainfall in January affecting crops on the verge of harvest.

Even without waiting for the release of Central funds, the State Government sanctioned ₹20,000 per hectare as input subsidy for paddy and ₹10,000 per hectare for dry crops, without limiting the amount of relief payable, to all farmers who have suffered severe crop damages. A total amount of ₹1,715 crore is being disbursed directly to the bank accounts of 16.78 lakh farmers, he had said.

Published on February 05, 2021

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