Farm loan waiver: In a big setback to Tamil Nadu farmers, Supreme Court on Monday put a stay on a Madras High Court order directing E Palanisami government to waive farmers’ loans, irrespective of their land holding. The High Court had in April directed the state government to provide relief to farmers protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. Following the order, the state government waived off debts on marginal and small farmers, and extended partial debt relief for farmers with bigger land holding. However, the court later directed government to extend full waiver to farmers irrespective of their land holding. “The land holding register and the loan register maintained by the banks do not necessarily reflect the actual land ownership. A farmer might have shown land details only for which he is seeking a loan,” the court had observed.
As per an Indian Express report, the High Court-ruling meant that an additional 300,000 farmers will become eligible for the debt waiver scheme. Further, the burden on the state government will also rise and will reach Rs 7769.33 crore from Rs 5,780 crore. Earlier this year, a group of Tamil Nadu farmers protested for over 30 days at Jantar Mantar demanding the government to write off their loans and bring out a drought relief package of Rs 40,000 crore for state farmers.
The farmers made headlines for their shocking ways of protest. The farmers resorted to tonsuring of their heads, took out mock funerals, flogged themselves, stripped outside the PMO office, and even staging sit-in protests with skulls of farmers who committed suicide. Taking note of the protests, Chief Minister Edapaddi Palanisami met farmers in New Delhi, ultimately convincing them to call off the protest.