Siddaramaiah govt waives farmers' loan worth Rs 8,167 crore in Karnataka

After Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab, Karnataka government now has waived farmer loans worth Rs 8,167 crore, reported CNN-News 18.

According to ANI, chief minister Siddaramaiah announced farm loan waiver for short-term loans up to Rs 50,000, applicable only to cooperative banks loans.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

In August, the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government announced its much touted farm loan waiver, estimated to benefit over 2.15 lakh small and marginal farmers in the state. Uttar Pradesh health minister Siddharth Nath Singh made the announcement that the cabinet has unanimously decided to waive off farm loans up to Rs 1 lakh for small and marginal farmers.

The minister also mentioned that of the 2.30 lakh farmers in the state, roughly 92.5 percent farmers will fit the bill for the announced benefits. Moreover, the government has also decided a complete waiver of farm loans that had turned into non-performing assets (NPA). This, he said would benefit more than seven lakh farmers and would cost the exchequer an additional Rs 5,630 crore. The loan waivers will cause an additional 36,359 crore burden on the state coffers.

The Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra soon followed suit after farmers intensified protests in the state since 1 June. Their demands included loan waiver and rise in Minimum Support Price. "We will be writing off the loans of all deserving and needy farmers. For this we shall make use of IT-based technology. It will be the biggest farm loan waiver in history," Fadnavis had announced.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on 19 June announced total waiver of entire crop loans for small and marginal farmers. The loan waiver will for up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers (up to 5 acres) and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of their loan amount, thus paving the way for eventual total waiver of agricultural debts to implement another major poll promise of the ruling party.

Farmers in Karnataka have been seeking compensation from the government for the losses incurred by them after their crops went dry in the last drought. Karnataka has seen successive droughts for the past six cropping seasons and some farmers in the state have reportedly received a compensation of one rupee in their bank accounts for damaged crops.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 14:54 PM

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