Blow to Kiran Bedi as Centre OKs co-op farm loan waiver in Puducherry
In what is being read as a victory for Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has accepted his proposal to waive off loans taken by farmers from cooperative banks
PUDUCHERRY: In what is being read as a victory for Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has accepted his proposal to waive off loans taken by farmers from cooperative banks, though it said the Centre would not foot the bill.
Lt Governor Kiran Bedi had refused to clear the proposal and referred the matter to the MHA. This is the second blow to Bedi from the Centre. A few weeks ago, the MHA approved a proposal to extend the tenure of seven MLAs of Congress and DMK as chairpersons of government-run boards, corporations and statutory bodies, which Bedi sought to spike.
In the latest letter to the L-G’s secretary, Director of MHA Sudhir Kumar Rai said, “The proposal of the Government of Puducherry regarding loan waiver was examined and it is informed that no financial assistance from the Government of India (GOI) shall be available for the waiver of any kind of agricultural loans issued by the Government of Puducherry. The proposal to waive off loans taken from commercial banks has not been agreed to. Government of Puducherry may waive off agricultural loans availed from cooperative institutions…”
Puducherry government had proposed to waive off farm loans of 6,306 farmers in Puducherry and Karaikal amounting to `22 crore, government sources said. Of the total number, 5,606 farmers are from Puducherry, while the remaining 700 are from Karaikal, who had suffered extensive crop loss due to natural calamities and drought between 2007 and 2016. Most farmers are sugarcane and paddy cultivators who lost crops in the past six to seven years. They availed themselves of loans up to `3 lakh each from cooperative banks through primary agricultural credit cooperative societies.
Bedi had objected to the proposal saying the UT needed financial support. “We wanted to make a case for compensation. Nationalised banks too had issued loans and since we are a UT, we needed to be in alignment with the GoI on waiver.”
No suicides due to our effort: CM
Chief Minister Narayanasamy said it was because of his government that there were no farmers had committed suicide. He argued that since the government was taking care of farmers during such times of distress such a crisis was averted