State plans 11 new warehouses

Cooperation Minister H S Mahadev Prasad, on Monday, said a proposal to construct 11 new warehouses with a total capacity of 49,000 metric tonnes has been submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Briefing reporters after assuming charge as chairperson of Karnataka Warehousing Corporation, he said he has urged the chief minister to allocate funds for construction of warehouses in the State budget scheduled to be presented on July 12.

The Corporation gets money from the Centre under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund for warehouse construction. The State government has been requested to provide the differential amount, he added. Currently, the Corporation has 129 warehouses with a total capacity of 10.9 metric tonnes. Of the 940 posts, about 545 are vacant and employees are being hired on contract basis only if it is found necessary, he added.

Interest-free loan

Further, he said the government was planning to provide interest free loan of up to Rs 2 lakh through cooperative societies. Currently, no interest is being charged for loans upto Rs 1 lakh. But not many people are availing of this benefit. Hence, it is proposed to raise the ceiling to Rs 2 lakh. Besides, the government has extended the time for repaying loans availed through cooperative societies by three months.

Though the previous BJP government had announced waiver of cooperative loans up to Rs 25,000 in view of drought in the State, it had not allocated funds in the budget. The total amount waived was Rs 3,600 crore. The Congress government is now allocating funds for the waiver scheme, he added.

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