Coordination panel gives go ahead for farm loan waiver

Last Updated : 13 October 2018, 10:30 IST
Last Updated : 13 October 2018, 10:30 IST

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Ending speculation over the much-talked-about farm loan waiver, the coalition partners of the state government declared on Sunday that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy will announce the waiver in the “full-fledged” budget to be presented on July 5.

Kumaraswamy will also be announcing a budget of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for irrigation, a sports policy, new schemes such as 20 lakh houses for homeless, and jobs for one crore youths in the next five years.

These announcements come a day ahead of the commencement of budget session. The decisions to this effect were taken during the second meeting of the coordination committee of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, held here on Sunday.

The committee, which met to finalise the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), accepted the same with “minor” changes, said committee convenor Danish Ali. Highlighting the above-mentioned schemes, Ali told reporters that it was a unanimous decision of the committee members.

All five committee members - former chief minister Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal and Ali were present in the meeting.

Ali said that the CMP for the government will be brought out in form of booklet shortly. Declining to elaborate on the framework of the loan waiver scheme, Ali however said that farm loans borrowed from both nationalised and cooperative banks would be waived.

Ali also said that a “majority” of the flagship programmes, including Arogya Karnataka - Universal Health Coverage Scheme, will be continued by this government.

“The drafting committee of the CMP has submitted its report, and the coordination committee has accepted it with minor changes. There are no differences (between the coalition partners) at all. It was all created by vested interests. It is unethical to release anything discussed privately between some individuals,” he said, referring to a video clips of Siddaramaiah, which had stirred the political cauldron. In one of the clips, Siddaramaiah was heard expressing doubts over the longevity of the coalition government.

Seconding Ali, Venugopal too said that there was no difference between coalition partners. “There were speculations that the coalition government will be in trouble. But the meeting today went very well,” he said, adding that there will be one chief whip in the Legislative Assembly.

He also stressed that the Congress was not against the loan waiver scheme. “It was rumoured that Congress is against farm loan waiver. But Siddaramaiah government waived farm loan. On Day One itself, Congress president Rahul Gandhi made it clear that loan waiver will be the priority. Farm loan waiver is a programme of the combined government as both the parties are of the same view that farmers are in distress,” he added.

Venugopal also said that both parties had taken measures to silence discordant voices. “Ministers cannot talk beyond their ministries. It is not advisable at all. Only spokespersons of both parties have been entrusted to give media statements,” he said.

Venugopal also said that Kumaraswamy would expand his Cabinet after the budget session.

Published 01 July 2018, 17:47 IST

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