KOLLAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has said the numerous welfare measures taken by the Left Democratic Front government during the past four years to mitigate the problems of all sections of people pose a major challenge not only to the United Democratic Front but also to the United Progressive Alliance.
Mr. Achuthanandan was inaugurating a public meeting organised here on Wednesday by the district unit of the LDF to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the LDF government.
One of the first steps taken by the government was to save the farmers from debts and through that turn them away from the path of suicides. When the LDF government came to power, 1,500 farmers had committed suicide during the previous UDF rule. The LDF government not only gave Rs.50,000 as relief to the dependants of those farmers who committed suicide but also took steps to write off the loans taken by all farmers. A Farmers Debt Relief Commission was constituted for the purpose.
The government soon announced interest free-loans to the farmers for all farming activities. This was because interest was the biggest problem faced by farmers who had availed loans, the Chief Minister said.