State Cooperation Minister I Periyasamy on Friday said that crop loans worth up to Rs 501.69 crore will be waived to 51,017 farmers in Salem and Namakkal districts of Tamil Nadu to facilitate their access to new loans for planting crops and assured that appropriate measures would be available. Taken to ensure that wrongdoing does not occur in the future.
Irregularities in the disbursement of loans to farmers in each of the two provinces, in violation of the criteria set by the state-level technical committee for disbursing loans and disproportionate to their land holdings, were revealed during a field-level investigation conducted by the cooperative department.
The minister informed the assembly that “in January 2021, certificates of waiver of crop loans obtained were submitted to about 1,11,833 farmers in Salem and Namakal districts while certificates of waiver were not presented to 51,017 cases of rioting due to irregularities.”
From the crop loan target of Rs 11,000 crore to farmers in the state set for 2020-2021, the Salem and Namakal target has been set at Rs 746 crore and Rs 534 crore respectively. But only Rs.614.92 crore and Rs.502.62 crore respectively have been earned for both areas.
“Although maize and tapioca are the main crops, the loan amount for these two crops was lower (compared to other crops). Farmers in these two areas self-certified that they grew turmeric and bananas disproportionately to their land holdings to claim the benefits,” the minister said. This was revealed during the field investigation.
When the Crop Loan Waiver was announced in January 2021, certificates of waiver were submitted to a total of 1,11,833 farmers in Salem and Namakal districts and 51,017 people were disqualified for irregularities. After being represented by farmers in the two regions, Prime Minister MK Stalin, taking into account the interest of agriculture and farmers, agreed to waive their loans to clear the way for new loans to be given to them.
About 51,017 farmers will benefit from this initiative. Appropriate precautionary measures will be taken to prevent any future violations.