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HC admits PIL, asks RBI, Govts to reply within 3 weeks

| | Nainital | in Dehradun

Admitting a public interest litigation regarding the suicide of farmers in Uttarakhand, the High Court in Nainital has asked the Reserve Bank of India, Central Government and State Government to respond within three weeks. The next date of hearing on the case has been fixed after three weeks.

According to the case details, Kiccha, Udham Singh Nagar resident, Ganesh Upadhyay filed the public interest litigation in the high court of Uttarakhand stating that some farmers in the State had committed suicide between June and September this year due to their inability to repay bank loans. The petitioner has stated that the rate of interest on bank loans is so high that the farmers who take the loans borrow money from money-lenders at higher interest rates to repay the bank loans.

The Government purchases the crops harvested by farmers and does not pay them for the same for up to 10 months. In the recent past, the Government had purchased paddy worth Rs 75 crore in Udham Singh Nagar district but did not pay the farmers for the same for many months.

The petitioner further said that whereas the rate of poplar timber was Rs 1,050 per quintal in 2007, the same has dropped down to Rs 350 per quintal at present even though the market price has seen a rise that is about three-fold.

The farmers are not benefitting from this as the benefit is going directly to the Government.

The farmers are not being paid in time for their crops due to which they are unable to repay their bank loans and are receiving recovery notices from the banks. The Prime Minister crop insurance scheme has not been implemented so far in the State of Uttarakhand.

The petitioner has also stated that the crop insurance scheme should be implemented in the State. Under this scheme, the farmers should be provided loans at two per cent interest for Kharif crop, 1.5 per cent interest for Rabi crop and five per cent interest for other commercial crops. The petition was taken up for hearing by the division bench of chief justice KM Joseph and justice Alok Singh. 

 
 
 

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