Thiruvananthapuram: Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar has said that the state government will not cooperate with the attachment proceedings of banks under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act-2002 in case of agriculture loans during the moratorium period.
Replying to a submission by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala in the Assembly on Thursday, Mr Sunilkumar allayed the fears about the reports that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had denied permission to extend the moratorium agreed upon by the State-Level Bankers Committee following the government request.
The RBI has only denied permission to extend the date for restricting the farmers' loans beyond December 31. The moratorium announced by the government earlier for all kinds of loans of farmers would remain valid till July 31. Moreover, the RBI has allowed SLBC to take a decision on extending the moratorium validity. "The SLBC has already agreed to extend the validity of moratorium on repayment of farmers' loans till December 31,'' Mr Sunil Kumar said.
The stand of the banks was to consider only paddyland as agriculture land. However, there was a Supreme Court order that all land where farmers carried out agriculture activities should be considered as agriculture land. Banks in the state were going ahead with revenue recovery proceedings on non-paddy agriculture land.
Earlier, the state government had decided to issue a moratorium that covers agricultural loans and all kinds of loans taken by farmers whose main income is from agriculture.
An order was issued in this regard on May 29. Farmers' suicides reported in Idukki and Wayanad districts due to defaulting loan was the reason for taking such a decision....