Karnataka Govt. to waive farmer loans upto Rs. 50000

Lucy Bush
June 22, 2017

The Centre had stonewalled the State government's demand that farm loans taken in Karnataka from Central, rural and PSU banks - that stood at over ₹41,000 crore - be waived, said the CM.

The chief minister's decision to waive off farmers' loans up to Rs 50,000 will benefit around 22, 27, 506 farmers in the state.

Siddaramaiah said the Centre will now have to come to the rescue of farmers by waiving the loan obtained by them from nationalised and grameen banks.

Karnataka has joined the list of the states that have announced loan waiver for farmers in recent times. The move is expected to help about 22.27 lakh farmers who had taken loans from various cooperative banks.

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State Farmers' Association and Green Brigade President Kodihalli Chandrashekar also urged the government to write off the entire crop loans (totalling Rs 10,736 crore).

The state government has made a decision to give a flat debt relief worth Rs 2 lakh to marginal irrespective of their loan amount. "They have been demanding a loan waiver".

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had been under constant attack from the opposition BJP, which has accused him of "dilly dallying" on loan waiver. "We have to respond to farmers, even though it will have an impact on state's finances". And if Modi refuses, he and the BJP will be portrayed as "anti-poor" and "anti-farmer" by the Congress.

Siddaramaiah appears to have relented after a nudge from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had likewise declared a farm loan waiver on June 4. "We also give farmers incentives on milk production, as for every litre of milk, we give about Rs. 5 in a year that comes to about Rs. 203,000 crores every year", he added. "We have got an FRBM Act and a fiscal deficit target, and we intend adhering to it", Jaitley told reporters, when asked if the Centre too would come up with farm debt waiver schemes.

Farmers in various parts of the country have been agitating seeking waiver of loans.

"The government has laid down several conditions like setting up a cut-off date and waiving only loans up to one lakh rupees". The figure is much higher for nationalised banks that have offered loans worth Rs. 42,000 crore to about 33 lakh farmers.

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