`46,000-crore loan waiver com­mit­ment to be met ‘com­pletely’ in bud­get: Ku­maraswamy

Millennium Post - - Nation - KISHORE SU & RAGHAVENDRA

BENGALURU: Kar­nataka Chief Min­is­ter H D Ku­maraswamy has an­nounced that he will ful­fill his Rs 46,000-crore

loan waiver com­mit­ment made to farm­ers “com­pletely” in the Con­gress-jds coali­tion gov­ern­ment’s se­cond bud­get that he is sched­uled to present on Fe­bru­ary 8.

The farm loan waiver scheme would be im­ple­mented in one stroke with re­quired al­lo­ca­tion in the bud­get in­stead of com­plet­ing the process in four stages as was planned ear­lier, he said, as he took on the state and na­tional BJP lead­er­ship for their re­lent­less at­tack on him on the is­sue.

Ku­maraswamy has come in the line of fire of BJP lead­er­ship, in­clud­ing Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, who has been mock­ing the scheme, say­ing it had only of­fered a “lol­lipop” for an in­signif­i­cant num­ber of farm­ers.

The JDS leader was also crit­i­cal of Union Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh for his re­ported com­ment at the BJP Na­tional Con­ven­tion meet in New Delhi on Fri­day that the state gov­ern­ment had promised waiver but was is­su­ing no­tice to farm­ers for loan re­cov­ery.

Ku­maraswamy said no­tices were be­ing is­sued by na­tion­alised banks that come un­der the cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

“This shows the mean men­tal­ity of BJP lead­ers. This shows how lightly they have taken the is­sue of solv­ing farm­ers’ wor­ries.” “...Fe­bru­ary 8. I will present a new bud­get of 2019-20. We have an­nounced as a cabi­net de­ci­sion that loan waiver will be in four stages, we will not take it to four stages,” Ku­maraswamy told PTI in an in­ter­view.

“We are work­ing out on that. In the com­ing bud­get I will be clear­ing the com­plete loan waiver. I will not take four years. I want to bring it to the no­tice of cen­tral BJP lead­ers -it is not lol­lipop,” he said.

Ku­maraswamy as­serted that it would be done with­out vi­o­lat­ing the fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“If an elected gov­ern­ment makes up its mind, with­out vi­o­lat­ing fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity, how it can suc­ceed in im­ple­ment­ing its pro­grammes and com­mit­ment...i am go­ing to prove it,” he said. “...With­out vi­o­lat­ing fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity Act I’m clear­ing it com­pletely with al­lo­ca­tion for it. In the next fi­nan­cial year, the money that will be re­leased will clear the Rs 46,000 crore loan waiver com­mit­ment made,” he added.

Seek­ing to im­ple­ment a key poll prom­ise of the JDS, the Ku­maraswamy gov­ern­ment had an­nounced over Rs 46,000crore loan waiver scheme in July. But it has been bogged down by sev­eral is­sues, par­tic­u­larly re­lat­ing to na­tion­alised banks. While de­fend­ing the time taken in im­ple­ment­ing loan waiver, the chief min­is­ter said, the state’s scheme would be­come a model for other states in the days to come.

“To­day in front of me is Rs 46,000 crore farm loan from na­tion­al­ized and co­op­er­a­tive banks. I have cre­ated a sep­a­rate cell for this and have ap­pointed an IAS of­fi­cer to work on this for 24 hours. CMO- my of­fice is mon­i­tor­ing it ev­ery day. Our of­fi­cials are work­ing ef­fec­tively so that the loan waiver reaches our farm­ers,” he said.

He said guide­lines for im­ple­men­ta­tion of farm loan waiver scheme by his gov­ern­ment would be­come a model for any gov­ern­ment in fu­ture that de­cides to waive loans.

Not­ing that till Jan­uary 11, loan waiver has reached 1,70,000 farm­ers for which about Rs 900 crore money has been re­leased, he high­lighted that in the bud­get pre­sented in July af­ter com­ing to power, Rs 9,000 crore was al­ready al­lo­cated for loan waiver in the first year.

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