HDK's point-by-point rebuttal to charges

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy juggled umpteen statistics to convince the Opposition BJP and others that his farm loan waiver plan was “scientific” and there was nothing in it to “cheat” farmers.

Kumaraswamy was armed with reams of paper when he started his reply on the budget discussions in the Assembly on Thursday.

“I’m a finance minister whose budget has been heavily criticised. People have called it a ‘father-son’ budget, a brothers’ budget, a ‘Hassan-Mandya’ budget among others. But it’s not for nothing that I announced the crop loan waiver. I have done my calculations,” Kumaraswamy said.

The government held three rounds of talks with nationalised banks. “I cannot play with this. Can I walk on the streets if I was doing dhoka?” he rhetorically said. “This year, I have kept Rs 6,500 crore and the bankers have agreed for repayment in four instalments without interest. Bankers have agreed to start issuing no-due certificates to farmers and provide fresh loans,” he said.

Kumaraswamy threw out so many statistics that BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai interrupted him and said, “We hoped to get some clarity because we were confused on the loan waiver. Your statistics are confusing us even more.”

He said, there are totally 43.56 lakh loan accounts that farmers have across banks, including cooperative ones. The crop loans availed loans totalling Rs 48,091 crore. “Of them, 14.83 lakh accounts are overdue, amounting to Rs 21,095 crore. The Rs-25,000 incentive that I want to give to farmers who have repaid loans in time amounts to Rs 7,183 crore. Then there’s Rs 4,500 crore that we need to pay cooperative banks for the waiver done by the previous government,” Kumaraswamy explained.

“You say you will repay the banks in four instalments. No bank will give no-due certificate without receiving payment against a loan. How is this even possible? Will the RBI allow this? You also say that you have kept Rs 6,500 crore for the loan waiver this year. Which farmers will have their loans waived from this?” Yeddyurappa said.

He asked the chief minister to spell out crop loans due in banks and whether the agreement between bankers and government was oral or in writing. BJP MLAs staged walkout as Kumaraswamy did not clarify.

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HDK's point-by-point rebuttal to charges

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