KGF’s appeal to Finance Minister

Karnataka Growers’ Federaton, an organisation of coffee planters in Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu, has appealed to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman to instruct banks to restructure the loans.

A delegation of the federation led by president H.T. Mohan Kumar, secretary K.B. Krishnappa, Lok Sabha member Tejaswi Surya, and former MLA H.M. Vishwamanth met the Minister and submitted the memorandum on Friday.

The planters said the Reserve Bank of India had instructed the nationalised and private banks to restructure loan accounts in the wake of natural disasters. However, several banks were hesitant to do so.

The delegation demanded that the loans related to coffee cultivation be kept out of the ambit of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002. Otherwise, the planters would continue to lose their land as many had been getting demand notices and possession notices under this Act.

Maintaining that the current interest rate on crop loan was high, the delegation urged the Minister to bring it down to 3% for the old and future loans. The Fasal Bima Yojna should be applicable to coffee as well, they said.

Further, they urged the Minister to announce a package for coffee planters on the lines of the one announced for micro, small and medium enterprises.

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