TN announces Rs 12,110 crore farm loan waiver

Chennai: A few months ahead of Assembly elections, the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu on Friday announced waiver of Rs 12,110 crore crop loans availed by 16.43 lakh farmers from cooperative banks.

Making the announcement in the state assembly, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the scheme would come into immediate effect and a Government Order shall be issued while the required financial allocation would be made in the interim budget.

Asserting 'Iam a farmer too,' Palaniswami said it was his first duty to address the grievances of the farming people and ruling party MLAs welcomed his announcement by thunping the desks while the opposition benches were vacant.

The principal opposition party DMK, which staged a walk out ahead of the Governor's address on February 2, had already announced boycott of the session. Assembly elections are likely in April or early May in Tamil Nadu.

The waiver would pave the way for 16.43 lakh farmers to continue cultivation without any hassles, Palaniswami said.

In his reaction, DMK chief M K Stalin said since he has been promising crop loan waiver after his party assumed power, Palaniswami has now made the announcement as the Chief Minister had no other option.

He was addressing a poll campaign in Tuticorin.

Palaniswami has not waived the loan considering the farmers welfare but out of selfishness, eyeing the Assembly elections, Stalin said, adding "people know this very well."

Palaniswami, targeting the DMK, said the party had promised two acres of land to landless farmers in the run up to 2006 Assembly polls, but they could not fulfill the promise and people knew it and it is the truth. Similarly, during 2019 Lok Sabha polls, leader of opposition and DMK chief Stalin had assured waiver of farmers' crop loans in cooperative societies. After it won 38 out of 39 constituencies, DMK forgot the promise it made to the people.

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