Govt considers property tax waiver as drought relief

Govt considers property tax waiver as drought relief

In view of the severe drought in 123 taluks of the State, the government is contemplating waiver of property tax. An order will be issued in this regard shortly.

In a bid to mitigate the suffering of farmers, the government will soon alter the duration of loans availed by farmers from various financial institutions. Short-term loans will be converted to medium-term loans, while medium-term loans will be converted to long-term loans, official sources said.

Though there is no fund constraints faced by the government, supply of drinking water has become a serious problem. Water is being supplied through tankers to 292 villages. 

The drinking water problem will be more acute during April-May, officials of the Revenue department said. A comprehensive report on the drought situation has been submitted to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda. 

A sum of Rs 172.25 crore has been released from the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF), of which Rs 126.76 crore is in the form of assistance from the Centre. The total crop loss due the drought is estimated to be Rs 4,245 crore.

The CRF amount is being utilised to supply water and repair defunct irrigation pumpsets. The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department has prepared an action plan of Rs 202 crore for drinking water schemes, of which Rs 122.29 crore has been released.

To tackle drinking water problems in urban local bodies, Rs 10 crore has been released. A sum of Rs 126.76 crore has been made available to the deputy commissioners to provide relief.

Gowda has written to his Maharashtra counterpart requesting him to release water from Koyna dam to supply drinking water to affected areas in Belgaum district.