Karnataka cabinet approves Rs 9,440 cr coop farm loans

Bengaluru: The Karnataka cabinet gave its approval to waiving Rs 9,448.61 crore existing farm loans in respect of cooperative banks, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said.

At yesterday’s cabinet meeting, approval has been given to waiving existing crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh borrowed from the cooperative sector,Kumaraswamy said.

“It is estimated to be Rs 9,448.61 crore, about 20.38 lakh farmers who have obtained loans up to 10 July this year would benefit from this,” he told reporters. He said there was no shortage of money for the farm loan waiver.

During the next cabinet meeting, a decision would be made regarding waiver of farm loan obtained from nationalised banks and modalities were being worked out with the banks, he said.

Kumaraswamy said he would make an announcement either on Independence Day or Ganesh Chaturthi, which will be a ‘gift’ to farmers and the people of Karnataka.

He hit out at the BJP for its continued attack against him on farm loan waiver issue and asserted that his government was committed to the betterment of people and farmers.

Kumaraswamy reiterated that all programmes announced in the previous budget by the then chief minister and finance minister Siddaramaiah would continue, even as he dismissed reports about cuts in allocation to schemes like ‘Shaadi Bhagya‘ and ‘Mathru Poorna.’

Appealing to farmers not to commit suicide, the chief minister assured them that his government was there to ‘protect’ them. “It is our priority,” Kumaraswamy said.

To a question about State governments meeting with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on the Mekedatu project, he said the state government was working towards getting permission from the central government for the project.

He said government was also trying to convince the chief minister and the Tamilnadu government along with farmer leaders there as the project would benefit both States.

Tamilnadu is opposed to the Mekedatu multi-purpose (drinking and power) project across the Cauvery which involves building a balancing reservoir with a capacity of about 66 tmcft, near Kanakapura in Ramanagaram district.