New Delhi [India], July 30 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday wrote to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urging the Centre to extend the moratorium on repayment of short-term crop loans of farmers to December 31.
The former Congress Chief also asked the Centre to waive all penal interest on such loans
Drawing Centre’s attention to the “acute” financial distress being faced by farmers across the country due to the continuing pandemic, Gandhi said his parliamentary constituency Wayanad in Kerala is home to a significant number of small and marginal farmers growing cash crops.
“As you are aware, large parts of Kerala were devastated by two consecutive years of flooding in 2018 and 2019. Just as the farmers were on their road to recovery, the COVID pandemic struck. This has severely heightened agrarian distress,” said the Wayanad MP.
He noted that to deal with heightened agrarian distress, currently, farmers are availing short term crop loans at a concessional rate under the interest subvention scheme.
“However, factors including, multiple lockdowns, disruptions in the supply chain and limited market access have severely affected farm incomes. Mounting debt coupled with future economic uncertainty has affected the ability of our farmers to repay their loan on time,” he said.
Gandhi stated that he has been receiving representations requesting a moratorium on repayment of short-term crop loans from individuals and organizations in his constituency.
“Crores of farmers across India are similarly placed. In this backdrop, I request your kind intervention in extending the moratorium on repayment of short-term crop loans till December 31, 2021 and waive all penal interest,” he added. (ANI)