Kerala wants moratorium on farmers loans extended

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala State officials and State Level Banker’s Committee (SLBC) met yesterday to discuss about farmers’ loan. Kerala Chief Minister took part in the discussion and urged the banks to be more considerate towards farmers availing agricultural loans. The government decided to seek extension of moratorium on farmers loans till 31 December.

The SLBC had recently put out an advertisement, stating that recovery procedures on those who had defaulted on farmers loans would be held, and the moratorium would end on 31 July.

Following this, State Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac slammed the SLBC. They said while banks waived loans of corporate companies, they were not prepared to extend the moratorium on farmers’ loans.

According to a media report, after banks began recovery procedures, in the past one and a half years, 18 farmers who were debt ridden had committed suicide as they were unable to pay off their loan dues.

The CM in a Facebook post said banks should support those who are financially backward and accept reality. He also noted that in the last two years, Kerala has witness multiple natural calamities. “Due to these natural calamities, we sought to extend the moratorium of farmers loans till December 31 this year. However, it seems like RBI was not in favour of our demand,” VIjayan further said.

NT Bureau