(1) The Commission shall have all such powers as are necessary for achieving the objects of this Act, and in particular,-
(a) to recommend to the Government either suo motu or on application, after such enquiry as it may deem fit and subject to such general guidelines as may be prescribed by Government to declare a district or districts or part thereof or a crop or crops as distress affected area, or distress affected corp, as the case may be, and on application to declare a farmer as distress affected farmer subject to such enquiry and norms;
(b) to fix, in the case of creditors other than institutional creditors, a fair rate of interest and an appropriate level of debt, to be payable as the Commission may consider just and reasonable by a farmer declared as distress affected or related to an area or crop declared as distress affected area or distress affected crop as per section 6 as the case may be;
(c) to undertake conciliation for settlement of disputes between indebted farmers and creditors, other than institutional creditors, on the basis of the fair rate of interest and appropriate level of debt fixed under clause (b);
(d) to adjudicate disputes between farmers described in clause (b) and creditors other than institutional creditors, and to pass awards which shall be binding on both parties:
Provided that before passing an award as per this clause a creditor shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
(e) to enter into negotiations with the creditors for loan waiver, interest rate relief, loan rescheduling or loan moratorium to farmers described in clause (b);
(f) to recommend to the Government regarding the extent and the manner in which the debt relief to be granted to the farmers;
(g) to recommend to the Government to take over the entire or partial debt and exonerate the farmers, from the effects of the debt;
(h) to recommend to the Government to do such acts as may be necessary to ensure that future credit requirements of the farmers are met through such agencies, as may be prescribed;
(i) to make periodical reports to the Government generally on any matter pertaining to farmer indebtedness; and
(j) to perform such other functions and exercise such other powers, as may be prescribed.
(2) Issue orders keeping in abeyance the repayment of all debts of farmers described in clause (b) of sub-section (1) to the creditors, other than institutional creditors, considering the nature of crops and crop loss, for a period not less than one year but not more than 3 years:
Provided that such orders shall be subject to the awards and directions under sub-section (1).
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provisions of this Act, any debt relief granted to a farmer by way of waiver of principal, interest and penal interest, if any, shall not exceed seventy five per cent if such debt is fifty thousand rupees or less and fifty per cent, if such debt exceeds fifty thousand rupees, arrived at after settlement or rupees one lakh which ever is less
(4) An award passed by the Commission under clause (d) of sub section (1) shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court.
(5) The awards of Commission under clause (d) of sub-section (1) shall be executed under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act 5 of 1908) as if it is decree of a Civil Court.
(6) The Commission shall, for the purpose of exercising the powers conferred by or under this Act, have all the powers of a Civil Court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act 5 of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) requiring the discovery and production of any documents;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavit;
(d) issuing commission for the examination of witnesses or for local investigation;
(e) inspecting any property or thing concerning which any decision has to be taken;
(f) requisitioning of any public record or copy thereof from any court, authority or office; and
(g) any other matter which may be prescribed.
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