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Remission of land tax, cess charges sought

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI, JAN. 11 . The Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association has urged the State Government to announce remission of land tax and cess charges in the wake of failure of monsoon during the kuruvai season and bleak prospects of the standing samba crop.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, the president of the association, G. Kanagasabai, said water was released for the `Adi perukku' festival last year but subsequently, the discharge dwindled, forcing a majority of farmers of the delta to give up the kuruvai cultivation. However, kuruvai was raised on fields with irrigational facility on an extent of 15,000 acres.

"Here too, farmers suffered a setback as the decentralised procurement centres had rejected the paddy with high-moisture content", Mr. Kanagasabai said.

Though the State Government announced a procurement price of Rs.560 a quintal, the kuruvai farmers did not benefit much owing to rigid norms on moisture content. Samba crop presented a promising trend in the initial days with the onset of the northeast monsoon. But surplus showers suppressed the hopes of the farmers.

The cultivation of blackgram as an intercrop in the samba fields, which fetched an additional income to the farmers after the samba harvest, has become a thing of the past.

The statement also urged the State Government to initiate special steps for the tsunami-hit farmers of Thanjavur district.

Mr. Kanagasabai said that despite odds, farmers were pinning hopes on the samba crop. But, the Government should announce a hike in the procurement price, as farmers had to incur an additional expenditure for the transit of the produce to the procurement centres. Also, additional procurement centres should be opened, he said.

Since farmers were enmeshed in debts in the wake of the continuous drought condition in the past three years, the Government should write off all crop loans together with the interest and penal interest.

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