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Waive off loans of all farmers, Madras HC tells Tamil Nadu govt

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-04-2017 Dharani Thangavelu

Chennai: The Madras high court on Tuesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to waive off farm loans obtained by all farmers, irrespective of their land holding, and also directed the state to ensure that no penal action is taken against farmers by state officials.

The order comes at a time when farmers from Tamil Nadu are protesting in Delhi demanding a drought relief package of Rs40,000 crore from the Centre, setting up of Cauvery Management Board and waiver of farm loans from all the nationalized and co-operative banks.

As per the state government order dated 28 June 2016, only marginal and small farmers are eligible for debt waiver of agricultural loans and bigger farmers are eligible for debt relief.

The small farmers are those who own between 2.5 and 5 acres and marginal farmers are those with land holding of less than 2.5 acres.

Hearing a petition filed by P. Ayyakannu of the National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturist Association, who is also leading the protests in Delhi, the bench of Justice S. Nagamuthu and M.V. Muralidharan said that a uniform scheme should be applied irrespective of the land holding as all the farmers have been severely affected due to drought.

Also read: Why is Tamil Nadu angry?

On Saturday, the Centre released Rs1,712.10 crore for Tamil Nadu from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). In January, the Tamil Nadu government declared all 32 districts in the state drought-affected and urged the Centre to sanction a sum of Rs39,565 crore from the NDRF.

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