Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena has decided to forward the state governments requ-est for extending moratorium on agricultural loans till December 31, to Election Commission.
The CEO has informed that the explanation given by the state government on the need to implement moratorium is satisfactory. Earlier, the government had sought CEO’s permission for issuing the GO related to moratorium.
The government had replied to the queries raised by the CEO in connection with the declaration of moratorium.
Chief secretary Tom Jose clarified that the government decision on extending the moratorium was taken in view of the sorry plight of the farmers in the state.
The government pointed out that since the crisis and consequent farmer suicides could not have been anticipated early on, under these circumstances it decided to extend the moratorium.
The EC should intervene and grant permission to issue the GO to provide relief to the farmers in distress. The Cabinet on March 5 had announced a series of relief measures for farmers in the state including extension of moratorium on loan recovery proceedings till December 31, 2019.
As per norms a decision taken at the Cabinet meeting has to be issued as Government Order within 48 hours. Though there were five days between the Cabinet decision and announcement of polls, the chief secretary didn’t issue the order.
The CS had clarified that since the order on moratorium on farm loans issued last year was in force till October, there was no need to issue a fresh GO in a hurry. His stand came in for sharp criticism from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who saw no justification in delaying the order. Subsequently the chief secretary changed his earlier position.
With the CEO now sending the request to EC, the government hopes that it will get the nod to issue the GO soon....