No loan waiver for K'taka coffee growers

In a setback to coffee growers in Karnataka, the Centre has rejected a plea by the growers federation and the MPs from the state to waive interests on loan taken by small and medium growers that would help them overcome their financial crunch.

Disclosing this in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandeswari said: “The matter was examined in consultation with the Ministry of Finance. However, the request was not found feasible on the ground that such a waiver would have financial implications for banks and result in similar demands from other sectors.”

The minister noted that unremunerative coffee prices, severe drought conditions, heavy rainfall and white stem borer infestation affected the coffee sector during the early part of the last decade, resulting in falling production and crippling debts for the growers, who were unable to clear their loans and invest on their farms.

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