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Debt relief panel offers solution to ryots’ woes

Staff Reporter

But farmers have to give proof that banks are renewing loans without their consent

KASARAGOD: The Agricultural Debt Relief Commission will recommend a solution to complaints by farmers that banks are renewing their agricultural loans without consent, if evidence is provided, K.A. Abdul Gafoor, Chairman of the commission, said here on Thursday.

The two-day sitting of the commission began here in the morning.Mr. Gafoor, while speaking to presspersons, confirmed that such practices were taking place.

Good response

He and N.J. Jacob, commission member, said the panel was getting a good response from farmers. Without understanding the powers of the commission, a number of them were submitting complaints ranging from fall in prices of agricultural produce to crop loss in the recent natural calamities. He said the commission would bring to the Government’s attention the issues raised.

On the demand of farmers’ organisations that Kasaragod be declared a calamity-stricken district,

Mr. Gafoor said the commission could take a decision only after studying in detail the nature and extent of the problems faced by the farmers. However, it was true that the farmers were distressed, he added.

The commission would submit to the Government its report on the agrarian crisis in Idukki district by August-end.

Hearings on the crisis in Alappuzha had been almost completed. Sittings would be held in Kozhikode, Kannur and Palakkad in two months.

He said the commission had been giving conditional stays to recovery proceedings being initiated by financial institutions against farmers following complaints.

As many as 100 such stays had been given in Kasaragod district alone, he said.

The commission took evidence of the agrarian crisis from farmers, their organisations, people’s representatives and officials on Thursday.

The panel members would collect the opinion of representatives of banks and agricultural institutions from the district on Friday.

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