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TN crop loan waiver: SC stays Madras HC order asking govt to extend benefit to all farmers

The crop loan waiver scheme for farmers was notified by the Food and Consumer Protection Department in May 2016.

india Updated: Jul 03, 2017 21:43 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Tamil Nadu farmers,Tamil Nadu crop loans,Crop loan waiver
Tamil Nadu farmers staged a naked protest outside the South Block and demanded better drought-relief package from the Narendra Modi government in June. (HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the order of Madras high court directing the Tamil Nadu government to extend its crop loan waiver scheme to all farmers, including those having land holdings of above five acres.

A bench headed by justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta issued notice to the association of agriculturists and stayed the April 4 order of the Madurai bench of the high court.

The crop loan waiver scheme for farmers was notified by the Food and Consumer Protection Department in May 2016.

Counsel for the state government said the scheme was only meant for small and marginal farmers with land below five acres and said the policy decision of government cannot be interfered with.

The state government which has challenged the high court order said it would suffer irreparable loss if the verdict was stayed.

It said the new government, in order to fulfill its poll promise, had ordered the waiver of crop loan given to small farmers by cooperative societies and banks.

It said the list of beneficiaries was prepared in 2016 as the government intended to give relief only to small farmers after taking into account the budgetary allocation and revenue collection.

The high court had passed the order on writ petitions seeking to extend the scheme to all farmers of the state, irrespective of the size of land holdings.

It had said that the central government cannot be a mute spectator when the state government was facing difficult financial situation and should extend the helping hand.

The high court had also restrained the authorities from initiating any action against the farmers for recovery of crop loan as on March 31, 2016.

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First Published: Jul 03, 2017 21:43 IST