HDK seeks Centre’s help for loan waiver

HDK seeks Centre’s help for loan waiver

Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal gives a bouquet to Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy before a meeting, in New Delhi on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday sought financial help from the Centre for implementing the Rs 44,000-crore farm loan waiver scheme announced by the state government.

Kumaraswamy, who called on Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh here said that the Karnataka government has taken a ‘drastic’ step to waive farm loans, taking into account the farmers’ distress during the last eight years.

“The cost (of loan waiver) would be upwards at Rs 40,000 crore. I have requested assistance from the Government of India for the same,” he said in a representation made to the Union Minister.

In his budget, the chief minister had announced a loan waiver of Rs 34,000 crore, which jumped to Rs 44,000 crore after the state government last week decided to waive all crop loans of Rs 1 lakh in cooperative banks availed of till July 10, 2018.

To ensure that cooperatives are able to function effectively, the chief minister demanded for increase in the quantum of concessional re-finance which National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) provides, from the current 40% to 75% of the ground level disbursement.

“This will help us to provide timely and needy credit to small and marginal farmers,” Kumaraswamy said.

To ensure farmers get credit at lower rate, he said that the government should raise the subsidy from 2% to 3% on crop loans for cooperatives.

The chief minister also urged the Centre to give a special financial package of Rs 2,477.26 crore for losses incurred by arecanut and coconut growers in the state.

Coconut has been affected in 1.37 lakh hectare and arecanut in 95,352 hectare and the total loss is pegged at Rs 9,909.6 crore, he added.

After the meeting, Kumaraswamy said the Union Minister promised to help the state to address the farmers’ problems.

He said his Delhi visit has resulted in getting Rs 2,500 crore worth financial grant from the Centre for various projects. Kumaraswamy, who was here for the past two days, met various Union ministers and sought funds from them to take up a number of development projects in the state.

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