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Rahul writes to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das over crop loans

Following last year’s floods, RBI gave a moratorium on the repayment of farm loans -- Kerala has around 7.5 million farm loans worth Rs 80,803 crore -- till July 31. The state was trying to have this extended even before heavy floods of the past week but with little luck.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2019 01:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Wayanad: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts with army personnel involved in rescue and relief operations in the flood affected areas, in Wayanad district, Monday, Aug 12, 2019. (AICC/PTI Photo) (PTI8_12_2019_000208B)
Wayanad: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts with army personnel involved in rescue and relief operations in the flood affected areas, in Wayanad district, Monday, Aug 12, 2019. (AICC/PTI Photo) (PTI8_12_2019_000208B)(PTI)
         

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has urged Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das to extend the moratorium on repayment of crop loans in Kerala to December 31 in a letter written on August 9.

Following last year’s floods, RBI gave a moratorium on the repayment of farm loans -- Kerala has around 7.5 million farm loans worth Rs 80,803 crore -- till July 31. The state was trying to have this extended even before heavy floods of the past week but with little luck.

In a letter to RBI governor, Gandhi, a parliamentarian from Wayanad said Kerala has witnessed the worst floods in over a century (in 2018) and the devastating impact of the deluge has made it difficult for farmers to repay agriculture loans on account of widespread crop loss, and extensive damage to other productive assets.

“External factors such as the sharp fall in global commodity price of cash crops have also adversely affected the ability of farmers to bounce back,” added Gandhi who represents Wayanad constituency in the Lok Sabha.

Last week’s floods have exacerbated the problem.

According to government estimates, the death toll in the Kerala floods is 95 with over 1.89 lakh people having been displaced since August 8.

“Kerala has witnessed a tragic spate of farmer suicides in the aftermath of banks initiating recovery proceedings against helpless farmers under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act)” Gandhi wrote.

“Despite the demand from the state government and opposition parties to extend the moratorium on repayment of loans to December 31, 2019, the state level banker’s committee has refused to consider the demand,” Gandhi said.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 23:48 IST

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