Karnataka Govt. to waive farmer loans upto Rs. 50000

Jun 22, 2017, 08:15
Karnataka Govt. to waive farmer loans upto Rs. 50000

Already, the NK Singh panel has recommended that states need to cut their fiscal deficits by 16 basis points a year from an estimated 2.98% in 2016-17 if they want to achieve the current debt-to-GDP ratio of 21% again in 2024-25.

Admitting that the loan waiver would impact the state's finances, Siddaramaiah, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said that as the farmers were in distress due to drought, it was his government's duty to respond to their plight.

Opposition leader Jagadish Shettar said that Siddaramaiah should have included all the farmers who borrowed loans from co-operative societies and should not have fixed a cap of Rs 50,000. They have been demanding loan waiver. But the early announcement followed talks over holding polls simultaneously with the Gujarat elections.

Though the 2017-18 budget was expected to be a poll-oriented one ahead of the 2018 assembly polls, it had no mention of the loan waiver. "We don't an astute and clever government, we want a resposible government", he added. The party can now only claim credit for pressuring them.

Siddaramaiah said that exposure to cooperative banks is only 20 percent whereas the rest of the farm loans have been taken from grameen, nationalized and other banks, which are under the jurisdiction of the central government.

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Farmers in various parts of the country have been agitating seeking waiver of loans. Farmers and banks reap a good return when things go well.

"On behalf of our farmers, I request PMO to consider the acute drought and waive farmer loans from commercial banks", wrote Siddaramaiah.

PTI said the move announced in the state assembly will help 22,27,506 farmers who obtained loans from cooperative banks.

What's the cause for concern? At the end of the event, KPCC Kisan Wing president Sachin Meegha handed over a cheque of Rs 3.5 lakh to Rahul to be given to six farmer families in Madhya Pradesh.

The Chief Minister further reiterated that the order to implement the decision would be issued in a day or two and this would make Karnataka the first to implement it, though BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, and Congress-ruled Punjab had announced similar farm loan waivers.

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