Banks ‘attach’ flood relief, get notice

 R Ashoka

The state government has decided to issue notices to banks, both commercial and cooperatives, for “attaching” flood and drought relief money given to farmers towards their loans, Revenue Minister R Ashoka said on Monday. 

“The Rs 1,200-crore relief we have received from the Centre is being used to compensate farmers for their crop losses by transferring the money directly to their bank accounts. We’re doing the same with Rs 1,045 crore of drought relief money. But farmers have complained that banks are appropriating the relief money towards loans,” Ashoka said.

“I have ordered that notices should be served to all banks. The flood and drought relief money provided by the government to farmers shouldn’t be used by banks to settle loans,” the minister
said. 

The August 2019 floods destroyed crops spread across 7.54 lakh hectares.

The government has decided to pay farmers Rs 16,800 per hectare of rainfed land, Rs 23,500 for horticulture crops and Rs 28,000 for perennial crops. “So far, the government has spent ₹6449.93 crore from its kitty for flood-hit areas,” Ashoka said.

Rain forecast

Heavy rainfall that caused a second round of flooding is expected to subside, Ashoka said. “There is a rain forecast for Belagavi, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Ballari and Koppal districts, but only for another day or
two.” 

Cracking down on Bengaluru-based finance firm Injaz International, which has been accused of cheating people to the tune of Rs 285 crore in a ponzi scam, Ashoka said the government had attached all of its properties.
“After our government assumed office, we’re cracking down on such blade companies,” he said. 

The Revenue department, he added, will part with 36 acres of its land in Hassan, Mandya and Ramanagara for the Defence, which is in turn giving land for various infrastructure projects in Bengaluru. 

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