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Karnataka announces Rs 8,167-crore loan waiver, over 22 lakh farmers to benefit

Siddaramaiah-led Congress government has been facing intense pressure for long to dole out loan waivers to farmers after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab made similar announcements to fullfill their poll promises.

BT Online        Last Updated: June 21, 2017  | 14:38 IST
After, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka announces Rs 8,167 crore farm loan waiver

The Karnataka government on Wednesday waived farm loans worth Rs 8,167 crore.

Over 22 lakh farmers who availed up to loans of Rs 50,000 will be benefited by the announcement.

The state has been reeling under severe drought, worst in 42 years.

Siddaramaiah-led Congress government has been facing intense pressure for long to dole out loan waivers to farmers after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab made similar announcements to fullfill their poll promises. The BJP in Opposition had been for long demanding loan waiver for farmers of the state.

On Monday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced crop loan waiver of up to Rs 2 lakh for farmers who own less than five acre of agricultural land and a flat relief of Rs 2 lakh for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of the loan amount. The initiative would provide double the relief announced by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, he said.

BJP governments led by Yogi Adityanath and Devendra Fadnavis are in power in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, respectively. On June 11, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis  announced farm loan waiver which would require his government to raise Rs 25,000 crore or more. In April, the UP government waived farm loan worth Rs 36,000 crore.

The loan waiver will benefit around 86 lakh small and marginal farmers in Uttar Pradesh. Also, the waiver has fulfilled one of the biggest poll promises of BJP that if voted to power, it will waive off the farmer loans in its very first Cabinet meeting. At Rs 36,359 crore, the loan waiver announced by the Yogi government was the biggest at that time by any state.

In fact it is more than half the size of the loan waiver, announced by UPA-1 government in 2008 for whole of India. The maximum amount of loan to be waived has been fixed at Rs 1 lakh per farmer.

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