'Take measures to empower farmers'

'Take measures to empower farmers'

The State government, instead of providing temporary measures to help farmers as part of vote bank politics, should take up permanent and constructive measures to empower them, said Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Statistics and Programme Implementation D V Sadananda Gowda.

He was addressing the gathering during ‘Rajatha Sambhrama’, organised to commemorate the 25th year tenure (silver jubilee) of M N Rajendra Kumar as the president of SCDCC (South Canara District Central Co-Operative) Bank Limited, and bi-decennial year celebrations of Navodaya SHGs at Nehru Maidan here, on Saturday.

Gowda said, “As a minister, I always spoke in favour of those schemes that helped farmers to come out of the vicious circle of loan. After waiving the loans, the government should ensure that farmers are not debt ridden by initiating measures to improve their standard of living.”

To ensure that the farmers get fertilisers on time, the Centre had announced a fertiliser factory in Karnataka. The experts had identified land in Harihar in Davangere district to set up the factory. However, the Centre is not in a position to invest for the fertiliser factory as it has already invested Rs 16,000 crore for reviving five fertiliser factories in the country.

Rajendra Kumar through Karnataka State Co-Operative Marketing Federation and other players had come forward to invest Rs 6,000 crore to set up the fertiliser factory in Davanagere. The state government should earmark the required land for the purpose immediately, he said.

At a time when selfish politics rules the roost, SCDCC Bank Chairman through Navodaya SHGs has been reaching out to the households and empowering women. The cooperative sectors have played a vital role in the development of the nation.

SCDCC Bank Chairman M N Rajendra Kumar urged the cooperation minister to sanction the land for setting up of the fertiliser factory in Davangere within a fortnight as the Centre has promised to issue licence.

“A defunct sugarcane factory has come forward to hand over 300 acres of land for the fertiliser factory,” he said.

Cooperation Minister Bandeppa Kashempur, who had earlier inaugurated the cooperative museum and a library on the  premises of SCDCC Bank, said farmers’ need to be empowered and the government was committed to the welfare of the farming community.

“No farmer will be denied of loan waiver facility announced by the coalition government,” he said and added that the coalition government had announced grants to clear loans up to Rs one lakh availed from co-operative institutions and nationalised banks.

“In Dakshina Kannada district, 91,858 farmers will benefit from the loan waiver scheme,” Kashempur said.

A sum of Rs 705 crore will be released from the cooperative department. Till date, 19,298 farmers have been benefited and a sum of Rs 147 crore was released.

Badavara Bandhu scheme to disburse interest-free loans to street vendors was also launched on the occasion.

The scheme aims to free poor street vendors from the tentacles of moneylenders. Under the scheme, street vendors will get loans of up to Rs 10,000 without any interest and collateral security. He also promised to extend all support to set up  fertiliser industry.

Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade said cooperative principles had helped the poor irrespective of caste and creed. The SHGs have helped in empowering women in the state. The concept of SHG had helped even an illiterate women gain knowledge about financial transactions.

He urged the cooperation minister to direct cooperative presidents and members from other parts of the state to study how the co-operative sectors had prospered and are contributing to the economy of Dakshina Kannada district.

Minister for Urban Development U T Khader, Council Deputy Chairman S L Dharme Gowda, Opposition Leader of Legislative Counci l Kota Srinivas Poojary, Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and others were present.