1. Farm loan waiver: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah requests PM Narendra Modi to waive loan of farmers

Farm loan waiver: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah requests PM Narendra Modi to waive loan of farmers

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to waive the crop loans availed by farmers from commercial, private and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).

By: | Bengaluru | Published: July 3, 2017 8:49 PM
Farm loan waiver, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, PM Narendra Modi, Siddaramaiah to Modi on loan waiver, Siddaramaiah request to Modi on farm loan waiver Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently said that the Centre was not considering any proposal for farm loan waiver. (PTI)

Karnataka Chief Minister  Siddaramaiah today requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to  waive the crop loans availed by farmers from commercial, private and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). In a letter informing him about the state government waiving the crop loan availed through co-operative banks, he pointed out that 80 per cent of the agricultural loans in Karnataka are availed from commercial Banks and RRBs and 20 per cent are availed from co-operative banks. “In view of the persistent demand from farmers and farmers’ organisations and also from legislators from all  parties, the state, despite its financial constraints, has  waived the short term crop loan upto a maximum of Rs 50,000 per farmer out of the cooperative bank loans outstanding as on 20.06.2017,” Siddaramaiah said in a letter.

Noting that this relief would not bring succour to all  the farmers, he said “I fervently appeal to you to waive  similar loans availed by the farmers from Commercial Banks, Private Banks and RRBs.” “This will go a long way in mitigating the hardship of the farmers and helping them to undertake normal agricultural operations in the current Kharif season,” he added.  Karnataka, which is headed for Assembly polls next  year became the fourth state this year to take such step following Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab.

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The loan waiver was announced by Siddaramaiah on June  21 on the floor of the assembly, and a government order to  this effect was issued on June 23. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently  said that the Centre was not considering any proposal for farm  loan waiver, and it intends to adhere to the Fiscal  Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act and fiscal  deficit targets.

Central government’s non committal over loan waiver is  being used as by Congress party in the state to target the  BJP, by calling it “anti farmer”. The Chief Minister in his letter has pointed out that  crop loans waived by the state government is worth Rs 8165  crore pertaining to 22,27,506 farmers, which amounts to 76 per cent of the outstanding short term loans of co-operative  societies.

Karnataka has been facing consecutive years of drought  for last six years and it has been severe in the last two  years. As on  March 31, about 51 lakh farmers of Karnataka  have availed Rs 52,744.28 crore of crop loans, of this 28.73  lakh farmers have availed Rs 42,007.47 crore loans from  Commercial Banks and RRBs and 22.27 lakh farmers have availed  Rs 10,736.81 crore of loans from Co-operative banks.

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