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Loan waiver will give farmers' relief: Karnataka Minister

Loan waiver will give farmers' relief: Karnataka Minister”

The Karnataka government on Wednesday announced a crop loan waiver of up to Rs 50,000 per farmer that will cost Rs 8,165 crore to the state exchequer. There is a cap though: the loan waiver will not benefit all farmers in the state as only 20 per cent of the farmers have borrowed loan from co-operative societies and 80 per cent of them borrowed loan from nationalised banks which comes under Centre's control.

The CM further said that Karnataka government was committed to empowering the farmers of the state thought different "policies, innovations and support". He also slammed RBI governor Urjit Patel for asking the state government to restrain from announcing farm loan as it will have adverse impact on banking system. We expected the Karnataka government to waive loans of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Karnataka has joined the list of the states that have announced loan waiver for farmers in recent times.

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While talking on the floor of the house, Siddaramaiah throws a challenge to the BJP to persuade the Central government to waive off the rest of the loans in the nationalized banks.

On Monday, Punjab had announced total waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh of small and marginal farmers, and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all marginal farmers, irrespective of the loan amount. The initiative would provide double the relief announced by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, he pointed out. "I appeal to Siddaramaiah to doube the cooperative loans waiver limit to Rs 1 lakh", said Chandrashekar, an independent lawmaker who represents Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha.

Opposition BJP and JD (S) are seemingly anxious as they feel denial of loan waiver was the biggest weapon they had with them against the Congress government in the next elections. Congress attacked the government and said that it is not serious about resolving the hardships of farmers.

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Karnataka has been reeling under drought for the past two years. In April, the UP government waived farm loan worth Rs 36,000 crore. One of the condition was that farmers with four wheelers will not be eligible for the advance loan, This norm has been revised and to say that farmers own who any vehicle up to Rs 10 lakh will be eligible for this instalment.

This was followed by Rs 30,000 crore farm loan waiver in Maharashtra amidst large-scale protests.

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