Lock | Farmers’ group calls for waiver of all farm loans
Farmer groups are planning a nationwide campaign to demand full loan waivers in light of coronavirus (COVID-19[female[feminine), accusing the government of not keeping its promise to procure products at minimum support prices in the fields. It will begin with a social media campaign on May 4 and 5, and will be followed by wider unrest and protests as the lockdown is lifted, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordinating Committee (AIKSCC) said.
The AIKSCC task force, an umbrella platform of more than 200 farmer groups, met on Sunday to discuss the impact of the foreclosure on farmers and others dependent on the agricultural economy. They noted the difficulties of harvesting during the shutdown, with transport unavailable and many closed mandis. Untimely rains and hailstorms also destroyed standing crops in several areas, exacerbating losses.
“Under conditions of blockade and restricted private purchasing, the government promised them purchases on the ground at minimum support prices. Unfortunately, that promise has remained largely confined to government claims, its weighing centers have remained non-functional in most places and to top it off, it has imposed several restrictions on the amount to be purchased in mandis and ordered to severe deductions due to allegedly shriveled kernels, ”the AIKSCC statement said.
The farmers’ organization claimed that the Center was not ready to provide assistance to farmers facing difficulties in repaying crop loans or obtaining new loans, although 68,700 yen of bad loans were canceled.
“The AIKSCC has decided to launch a nationwide campaign to waive the loan of all farmers, in particular the demand to immediately waive the entire Kisan credit card loan and renew their new allowance without conditions,” indicates the press release.