Govt in bank talks for crop loan OTS: HDK

Kumaraswamy said this at a meeting he held with farmer leaders at Vidhana Soudha to discuss problems faced by agriculturists. He used the platform to convince farmers that his pet crop loan waiver was on track, despite the delay in its implementation. (DH File Photo)

The state government is yet to arrive at a consensus with nationalised banks on offering a one-time settlement (OTS) for crop loans that have become non-performing assets (NPA), Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy revealed on Thursday.

Kumaraswamy said this at a meeting he held with farmer leaders at Vidhana Soudha to discuss problems faced by agriculturists. He used the platform to convince farmers that his pet crop loan waiver was on track, despite the delay in its implementation.

“We have information on 21 lakh farmers who have borrowed crop loans from nationalised banks. Of them, 2.80 lakh (number) loans have become NPAs. We’re talking to banks for one-time settlement,” Kumaraswamy said. “In 2015, State Bank of India had issued an advertisement offering a one-time settlement. When I reached out to banks on offering the same again, they said they would get back. They did not get back, especially after they realised that a loan waiver was coming,” he said.  

The crop loan waiver will benefit 44 lakh farmers, Kumaraswamy told the farmers. “I know that there has been a delay, but I want to implement the waiver in a scientific manner so that farmers aren’t cheated,” he said. “I have already set aside Rs 6,500 crore for the loan waiver in my budget. So there’s money. Let there be no panic.”

Crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh from nationalised banks will be waived. “In the first phase, we will pay banks Rs 50,000,” Kumaraswamy said.

Kumaraswamy said he wanted to earmark a portion of funds from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to provide health insurance for needy patients.

“In the last six months, I have provided aid of Rs 28 crore from the fund to poor patients who come to me with medical bills. This could go up to Rs 70-80 crore by the end of the year. I’m thinking of setting aside that much toward health insurance,” he said.

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Govt in bank talks for crop loan OTS: HDK

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