Karnataka to waive more crop loans of farmers

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government would waive additional crop loans to the tune of Rs 9,448 crore borrowed from the state cooperative banks by farmers till July 10, said an official on Friday.

“The state cabinet has cleared the finance department’s proposal to waive crop loans worth Rs 9,448 crore raised by about 20 lakh farmers from cooperatives across the state,” an official in the Chief Minister’s Office told IANS here.

The latest waiver is in addition to the Rs 34,000-crore farm loans Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had waived on July 5 as part of the state budget he presented in the state Legislative Assembly for this fiscal (FY 2019).

The loans, being waived along with interest pertain to the amounts raised by about 50 lakh farmers from the state cooperative and rural banks since 2015-16 till December 31, 2017.

Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, decided that loans up to Rs 1 lakh raised by an individual farmer from district and state cooperative banks would be waived in the new scheme.

“In the earlier (Rs 34,000-crore) scheme, each farmer family which borrowed up to Rs 2 lakh from cooperative or rural banks and defaulted were eligible for waiver,” the official clarified.

The state government is waiting for the clearance of the Central government to waive crop loans farmers raised from the nationalised banks.

“The state cabinet will decide on the repayment of loans raised by farmers from the nationalised banks in two instalments after the approval of the Union Finance Ministry to the state’s proposal,” added the official.