Himachal government urges to Centre to look into debt relief anomalies again

Prem Kumar Dhumal, the Chief Minister has asked for removal of numerous anomalies in the Agriculture Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme-2008 of the Government of India. In a letter to the Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, he pointed out that in a number of cases, under the provisions of the scheme, many beneficiaries would be deprived of availing the benefits unless necessary amendments were carried and restrictions of reimbursement to the credit institutions removed.

Squaring off to Himachal Pradesh, he said that the farmers who have limited land holdings and where the majority consists of small and marginal farmers, the Debt Relief Scheme of the Union Government would be of utmost use to the farmers of the state only with the necessary modifications in the provisions and removal of the anomalies under the Agriculture Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme-2008. He pointed out that the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies needed to be permitted full reimbursement of the rate of interest over the loans; it had given to the farmers for the year 2006-07 as also prior to the period. The Scheme does not cover the loans advanced for the purpose subservient to agriculture such as construction of cow sheds, packing and grading houses, fencing, power tillers and rural godowns etc which needed to be brought under the fold of the Scheme to benefit the farmers of the State, he added.

He urged to remove the ceiling of one lakh on horticulture while the reimbursement of the interest in excess of principal amount, implied interest, legal charges and inspection charges also needed to be reimbursed by making provisions in the Scheme. He added that the entire interest over crop loans for the period from April 1, 2006 to October 1, 2006 also needed to be reimbursed.

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