CLP chief Chowdhury questions absence of moratorium on farm loans

Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, November 30

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of Congress party in the Lok Sabha and chief of West Bengal unit of the party has questioned the absence of any concession from the side of the government in the case of agricultural loans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

In an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader said that as a common man a farmer was allowed to avail the facility of moratorium on loan if he bought a car or a refrigerator, but no moratorium was on offer for a loan obtained by a farmer for buying a tractor.

This double standard had been acknowledged by the central government also in the affidavit submitted by it in the Supreme Court, Chowdhury, who is also chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, wrote in the letter.

The feudal mentality of bankers was a stumbling block for extending any financial assistance to farmers, Chowdhury alleged. Banks were least bothered about the plight of farmers, Chowdhury said and pointed out that no moratorium package had been so far announced for farm loans.

Chowdhury urged Prime Minister Modi to allow farmers to renew Kisan Credit Cards only on payment of interest on the loan taken by them. There should not be any pressure on small and marginal farmers to pay the principal amount as well as the interest, Chowdhury said in the “open letter”.

The Berhampore MP said the concession would benefit 85 per cent of farmers. Chowdhury said farmers across the country were “feeling threatened and vulnerable” because of the flawed agricultural policy.

Lakhs of farmers were protesting against the new farm laws, Chowdhury wrote.

It was unfortunate that the central government decided not to pay attention to farmers, Chowdhury wrote in his open letter to prime minister.

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