On Day 1, govt showers sops

On Day 1, govt showers sops

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa holds a press conference soon after he was sworn in as the new chief minister of Karnataka at Vidhana Sounda in Bengaluru on Friday. DH Photo/Pushkar V

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced on Friday an additional incentive of Rs 4,000 for farmers who are beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), and decided to waive loans to the tune of Rs 100 crore availed by the weaver community.

The move was seen as Yediyurappa’s attempt to strengthen his posturing as a farmer leader. He made the announcement at his maiden news conference shortly after he chaired a customary Cabinet meeting. 

He said that the Rs 4,000 under PM-KISAN would be in addition to the Rs 6,000 provided by the Centre in three installments under the PM-KISAN scheme. “The state government will give two installments of Rs 2,000 each,” Yediyurappa said. 

“As on March 31, 2019, the weaver community has loans of around Rs 100 crore,” he said. “I have maintained that farmers and weavers are like two eyes of our state. Therefore, we have decided to waive weavers’ loans,” he said.

Earlier in the day, he asked Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar to put on hold new projects sanctioned and transfers effected in the month of July by the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition regime. At the fag end of the coalition government’s tenure, hundreds of officials were transferred. The coalition government fell after it lost the trust vote earlier this week. In fact, when it was in the Opposition, the BJP repeatedly targeted former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy for running a “transfer mafia” in the government. 

Yediyurappa also said he would take a call on waiving crop loans borrowed by farmers, which the BJP had promised in its election manifesto last year. He said he would collect the required information before arriving at a decision. His predecessor Kumaraswamy had implemented a crop loan waiver scheme under which the government has paid Rs 3,930 crore toward 7.49 lakh crop loan accounts in commercial banks and Rs 4,830 crore for 11.20 lakh accounts in cooperative banks.

Taking at potshots at the previous coalition government, Yediyurappa said the administrative machinery in the state had come to a complete standstill. “We will correct it first,” he said, adding that he would not pursue politics of revenge. “I believe in forgive and forget.”