Congress Chiefs of the south meet PM on farmers cause
New Delhi, Aug 31 (UNI) A delegation of Congress Chiefs of four states affected by farmers' suicides today called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urged for immediate mesures to ameliorate the condition of the debt-ridden families and rejuvenate the farming sector.
The delegation included Ms Prabha Rau (Maharashtra), Ramesh Chennithala (Kerala), Mr K Kesava Rao (Andhra Pradesh) and Mr Mallikarjuna Kharge (Karnataka), AICC General Secretaries Digvijay Singh and Margaret Alva.
The delegation demanded a reschedule of the repayment of agricultural loans and an increse in the credit flow to the farming sector.
They urged the Prime Minister to implement the Vidarbha-model package in all the states, which have been reporting suicides by farmers.
The delegation urged the Centre to effect a reasonable reduction in the rate of interest on farmers' loans given by the scheduled and nationalised banks. The rate of interest at present is 7.5 per cent.
The rate of interest on refinancing to cooperative societies by the NABARD should be reduced to 2.5 per cent from the present 5.5 per cent.
Mr Chennithala told UNI that he requested the Prime Minister to include Idukki and Alapuzha districts in Kerala in the special agricultural package. In this context, he pointed out that only three districts from the state were included in the package.
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