Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has written to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, urging that the moratorium on repayment of crop loans be extended to December 31 for farmers in Kerala in the wake of floods in the State. The death toll in the Kerala floods is 95, as per Government figures, and over 1.89 lakh people displaced by the deluge since August 8 have taken refuge in 1,118 camps since August 8.
“Almost a year back, Kerala witnessed the worst floods in over a century. I request RBI to take measures to extend the moratorium on repayment of loans by farmers to December 2019,” wrote Rahul.
He said the impact of floods is further aggravated by the inability of farmers to repay agricultural loans due to crop loss coupled with falling commodity prices of cash crops that affects their ability to bounce back.
“Kerala has witnessed a tragic spate of farmer suicides in the wake of banks initiating recovery proceedings under helpless farmers under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interests Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act).”
“Despite the demand from the State government and the opposition parties to extend the moratorium on repayment of loans to December 31, 2019, the state level banker’s committee as refused to consider the demand,” he added.