Bengaluru: Karnataka will soon waive the loans of all farmers in two phases as promised in the manifesto of the ruling Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), said Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday.
“In the next 15 days, we will notify a two-phase scheme to waive loans of all farmers especially small and marginal who raised them from state cooperatives, rural and state-run banks over the last nine years,” Kumaraswamy told reporters after a meeting with representatives of about 30 farmers’ associations in the state secretariat here.
Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, who represents the Congress in the coalition government, and opposition BJP’s deputy leader in the Assembly Govind M. Karjol also participated in the meeting that lasted over two hours.
“As I am heading a coalition government, I will have to discuss the modalities of the loan waiver with Congress leaders, including its President Rahul Gandhi, before notifying it,” said Kumaraswamy.
Admitting that the JD-S had promised to waive farm loans, including interest on them if elected to power, the Chief Minister said as the party did not get a clear mandate in the May 12 Assembly elections, he had to consult the Congress over the decision since it involved a huge amount (Rs 53,000 crore) of government funds.
“Only 36 JD-S candidates got elected, relegating our party to the third position after the BJP with 104 seats and the Congress with 78 seats.
“As a result, I could not fulfil the promise made in the manifesto. As we are committed to the welfare of the farmers, we will waive their loans after consulting Congress and officials,” he said.
The BJP has threatened to launch a mass agitation across the state if the JD-S-Congress government fails to waive off the farm loans at the earliest.
“I am committed to implement my promise on the waiver of farm loans,” said Kumaraswamy.