With State Assembly elections just months away, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday announced waiver of crop loans worth ₹12,110 crore availed by 16.43 lakh farmers through cooperative banks.

Farmers were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, two cyclones and unseasonal rains. They badly need help, the Chief Minister said in the Assembly while making the announcement during zero hour.

A Government Order will be issued soon and the financial allocation for it will be made in the interim Budget for 2021-22.

Farmers across the State welcomed the Chief Minister’s announcement. Today’s waiver announcement is the highest ever announced by any Chief Minister in the State, said Vettavalam K Manikandan, President, Tamizhaga Vivasaya Sangam.

“The farming community is highly indebted to the Chief Minister for the waiver.

“This is the best thing that could ever happen to the farmers who are going through very bad time,” he added.

Farm loan waivers are not new to Tamil Nadu. DMK in 2006 waived ₹7,000 crore of co-operative loans and in May 2016, the AIADMK waived crop loans of ₹5,318.73 crore to benefit 12.02 lakh farmers.