'Centre has betrayed farmers in loan waiver issue'

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said the Congress-led state government will bear Rs 8,165 crore as part of the farm loan waiver privilege.

Speaking after inaugurating the newly built building for Agriculture Diploma College and the hostel at Brahmavar on Friday, the minister said that the government’s decision to waive the farm loan will benefit 22 lakh farmers. Though the government initially assured to waive only 50% of the loan, its decision to waive Rs 8,165 crore out of 10,700 crore has resulted in much higher percentage, he added.

He said the state government was always keen to waive the loan of the farmers. But was waiting for the response from the Union government to waive the loan borrowed from nationalised banks. Sadly, the central government has betrayed the farmers by getting away with the responsibility.

The central government’s decision made the state government to take immediate decision to waive the farmers’ loan borrowed from cooperative banks and societies. The central government should not be so inhuman towards farmers. The opposition leaders are all into propaganda to lure the voters, he charged.

He said the budgetary allocation for agriculture sector was Rs 4,700 crore when compared to the earlier Rs 1,800 crore. The budget expenditure has been 111 % in 2016-17.The BJP government has not crossed even 77 % when the amount spent from budgetary allocations is concerned, he claimed.

He added that the farmers are supported by the government by renting out farm machines as mechanised farming is the need of the hour for the sustainability of the agriculture activities.  Krishi Yantra Dhare Centres have been set up at hobli level with public private partnership and  Rs 75 lakh has been spent on the purchase of farm machines.  The rent price is 30% less when compared to the market price, he said. 

The government is promoting farming with complete mechanisation.  The farmers are being helped out to practise the mechanised farming which will support the idea of 30% less investments, he noted.

He said the Congress government spent Rs 127 crore on the purchase of agriculture farm tools in its first year. In its fourth year, it has earmarked Rs 455 crore for the purpose. It is literally 410 % increase when compared to the previous BJP government, despite having separate agriculture budget, had a hike of just 27 % in the allocations, he criticised.

The minister added that out of 745 Raitha Samparka Kendras, very few were functioning in their own buildings when the Congress took over from BJP. However at present, 400 Raitha Samparka Kendras have own buildings, while the work for another 350 structures are underway.  The proposal to start of agriculture colleges at Ankola, Brahmavar, Gangavati, Tumkur and Ballari is before the government. 

The tarpaulins that were made available for the farmers was priced at Rs 2,800 during the BJP government. However, the Congress government has ensured it to the farmers at Rs 1,700. Similarly, the amount is also increased from Rs 26,000 to Rs 1.21 lakh, he said.

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