Panchayat & Municipal Elections

SC upholds TN loan waiver for small farmers

NEW DELHI: Observing that the validity of a government scheme cannot be suspected merely because it was brought about to fulfill an election promise, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Tamil Nadu government’s 2016 decision to waive off farm loans and said there was nothing wrong in confining the benefits to small and marginal farmers, reports Amit Anand Choudhary.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna said that the policy of the state passed the muster against the constitutional challenge and set aside the order of Madras HC which had held the grant of loan waivers only to small and marginal farmers was arbitrary and directed that the same benefit be extended to all farmers irrespective of the extent of their landholdings.

The bench said that various studies showed that small and marginal farmers are rooted in deep poverty and suffer more due to the vagaries of flood and drought, and the government could provide a helping hand to them.

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