Farm loan: Kanimozhi asks Centre to reimburse TN Govt

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Chennai, Mar 15 (UNI) DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi has urged the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre to reimburse the loan amount waived by the Tamil Nadu Government to the small and marginal farmers, amounting to Rs 3,760 crore.

Participating in a debate on the General Budget for 2008-09 in the Upper House, Ms Kanimozhi, the poetess daughter of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, said the Centre should also reimburse 25 per cent of the amount waived in respect of other farmers by the State Government.

Welcoming the Centre's move to waive farm loans to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore, she said the DMK, soon after coming to power in May 2006, had waived farm loans to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore, benefitting 22.4 lakh farmers.

Ms Kanimozhi said all the 22.4 lakh farmers have been issued waiver certificates by the cooperatives, thereby enabling them to get fresh agricultural credit. Of these farmers, 17.73 lakh farmers were small and marginal farmers, she added.

She said that in Tamil Nadu, most of the agricultural loans given by nationalised banks were by way of jewel loans and therefore, the ''Union farm loan waiver package should cover farm loans taken by pledging jewels with banks''.

Stating that rise in prices of edible oil was a matter of concern as it affected the low income families, she wanted the Centre to step in to reduce the import duty of refined edible oil to ease the price in the open market.

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