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Central team to assess flood damage


Residents are being evacuated from their home to a safer place following floods warnings, on a wooden boat at Kadamakkudi near Kochi on August 10, 2019 _AFP photo


New Delhi: A Central team will visit Kerala soon to assess the damage caused by the recent floods, informed State Minister Kadakampally Surendran after holding a meeting here with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Kadakampally has handed over a memorandum containing various demands to the Union Minister. The minister requested the Centre to release a short-term loan of Rs. 2,000 crore at an interest rate of 3 p.a. as an emergency aid.

The minister also requested extension of the moratorium declared last year for agricultural loans for one more year.

Agricultural loans and other loans borrowed by the common people to sustain their livelihood should be restructured.  For this, the Centre should intervene to grant aid from NABARD. The minister also explained the crisis faced by the co-operative sector.

The system of levying income tax upon primary co-operative bodies at par with that levied on commercial banks should be changed, he pleaded. Control over accepting deposits of more than Rs. 20,000 in cash will affect the existence of the co-operative institutions.

Co-operative hospitals of the state are run using the capital invested by the common people and the government. These hospitals, which raise limited revenue, are burdened with an income tax of 30 per cent. This will affect the future development and asset development activities of the hospitals.  In this scenario, the co-operative hospitals should be considered equal to charitable trusts.

Special liaison officer of Kerala government Dr. A. Sampath and Co-operation Secretary Mini Antony also accompanied the minister.

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