Karnataka to press Centre on farm loan waiver



Bangalore: Karnataka would press the Union Government to direct nationalised banks to waive farm loans of up to Rs 25,000 including interest in wake of the severe drought being faced by the State.

"We will have to press the Centre to waive the loans (up to Rs 25,000)", said Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar in the Assembly, accepting the suggestion made by H D Revanna (JDS), who stressed the need to adopt a unanimous resolution in this regard.

The Chief Minister yesterday announced waiver of agricultural cooperative society loans up to Rs 25,000, including interest, of farmers between August one, 2011 and June 30 this year.

This "special package" benefiting 16 lakh farming families would incur an expenditure of Rs 3,500 crore, which would be sanctioned by the Government as grant, Shettar had said.

Congress and JDS members today made a strong pitch to expand the period from April last year to July 23 and also give the benefit to farmers who had already repaid their loans.

They argued that the farmers had taken loans from April last year itself, and they can't be deprived of the benefit.

"I am open (to the idea)", Shettar said, adding, he would consider their suggestions while replying to discussion on finance bill, as also at the time of issuing a government order on the package. He would discuss with Finance Department officials on the implications.

PTI