Karnataka draws blueprint for farm loan waiver

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has drawn a blueprint to waive crop loans of farmers from state-run and co-operative banks in the southern state, an official statement said.

“The government has prepared a blueprint to waive off loans upto Rs 48,000 crore that includes loans from co-operative banks, subsidy and crop loans granted by the state-run banks,” said a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office.

The blueprint includes the Rs 34,000 crore loans to be waived as announced by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy while presenting the state Budget on July 5.

Total loans amounting upto Rs 48,000 crore to be waived include Rs 37,159 crore crop loans granted to the farmers by state-owned banks and about Rs 9,500 crore of current loans, the statement added.

The banks are to ready the details of farm loans from across the state that are eligible to waived, and the process of waiver will commence after the state’s review.

As per the election manifesto promises of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) to waive farm loans if voted to power, Kumaraswamy, who is also the state party chief, had announced in his budget speech to waive upto Rs 2 lakh crop loans per farmer family.

“All crop loans defaulted by farmers upto December 31, 2017 are waived in the first stage. Only loans borrowed from district co-operative banks and state co-operatives are waived in the first stage,” he had said.

The budget had also proposed to allot Rs 6,500 crore to enable farmers avail fresh loans after they submit a clearance certificate from the department concerned that their loan arrears have been waived.

The previous waiver by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had cost the state exchequer Rs 8,165-crore.