Farmers Confused About Government Farm Loan Forgiveness Promise | Trichy news
Trichy: Although the government of Tamil Nadu has issued a notification on the waiver of the crop loan as announced by the chief minister at the assembly on February 5, farmers say they are very confused because there is no is unclear as to who all would benefit from the scheme.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami informed the assembly that his government would forgo crop loans of 12,110 crore rupees granted to 16.4 lakh farmers by cooperative societies. Following the announcement of the CM, a government decree (GO) was issued on Monday for a waiver of the harvest loan. The CM appears to have made a hasty announcement and even the subsequent Government Order (GO) may have been issued without much homework as many questions remain unanswered for farmers, the secretary of the l ‘Cauvery Farmers Protection Association of Thanjavur District, Swamimalai S Vimalnathan.
Farmers are very confused because there is no clarity as to which categories of loans would be covered by the waiver regime. Will all loans taken by farmers from cooperative banks be covered by the program or will only crop loans be canceled? Will all gold loans taken out by farmers be canceled? It can be noted that there is a cap on banks granting agricultural gold loans at low interest rates. Beyond a limit, gold loans will not be eligible for the agricultural category.
The GO issued on February 8 aims to cover all loans outstanding as of January 31 of this year. What if some farmers had fully or partially repaid their loans between January 31 and February 5, when the CM announced the exemption? Will their money be refunded? Guidelines on converting medium-term crop loans to short-term loans are also not mentioned in the ordinance, Vimalnathan added, citing officials who shared their views.
The guidelines issued by the Registrar of Co-operatives on Monday specify a series of rules to be followed by primary co-operatives, starting with identifying beneficiaries and their responsibilities, passing resolutions and forwarding them to joint registrars, who will verify their claims and will recommend for loan waiver. The list of beneficiaries would be posted in primary cooperative societies inviting objections, where appropriate. The services are subject to the approval of the cooperative audit service. A separate committee should be formed to examine the objections. The consolidated state-level list must be sent to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies by February 15. With barely six days left, how can officials complete multiple levels of verification of over 16 lakh loan accounts, involving Rs 12,110 crore is one question. The government’s rush is obviously to beat the model code of conduct, expected on March 1.
Farmers are also asking that those who repaid their loans quickly, despite the pandemic and financial crisis, not be excluded from the program. The money these farmers have given must be returned to them, Vimalnathan said.