With Kerala lashed by flood and landslide for the second consecutive year, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday wrote a letter to Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das, pointing the plight of farmers in the state and demanded extension of moratorium on repayment of agriculture loans upto December 2019.
“Almost a year back, Kerala witnessed the worst floods in over a century. The devastating impact of the flood is further compounded by the inability of the farmers to repay agriculture loans on account of widespread crop loss, and extensive damage to other productive assets”, said the MP from Wayanad, a district which is badly affected by the flood and landslide in 2018 and 2019.
He also pointed out that external factors like the sharp fall in global commodity prices of cash crops has adversely affected the ability of farmer’s to bounce back.
“Kerala has witnessed a tragic spate of farmer suicide in the aftermath of banks initiating recovery proceedings against helpless farmers under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforement of Securities Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act)”, the former Congress president pointed out.
He alleged that, despite the demand from state government and the opposition parties to extend the moratorium on repayment of loans to Deember 31, 2019, the state level Banker’s Committee has refused to consider the demand.
In Kerala, 92 people have died this year, so far, due to flood and landslide and authorities have issued fresh warnings on more rain and flood in the coming days.
In a separate tweet, the Congress party also alleged that the Central government is ignoring the ‘dire circumstances’ of Kerala.
“The death toll in Kerala has risen to 92 and fresh warnings on flooding and heavy rain have been issued. The state of Kerala is in dire circumstances, so why is the Central government choosing to ignore it?