Karnataka Chief Minister (CM) H D Kumaraswamy yesterday (12 July) announced an upgraded loan waiver scheme for the state’s farmers under which running loans up to Rs 1 lakh taken from all cooperative banks will be waived, the New Indian Express has reported.
The new scheme will replace the existing Rs 25,000 waiver for farmers who have repaid their loans with a Rs 1 lakh incentive for all running crop loans. It is estimated that this would cost the exchequer around Rs 10,700 crores additionally, over the Rs 34,000 crore amount the waiver was set to cost earlier.
Earlier, former CM Siddaramaiah had appealed the Kumaraswamy government to roll back the hike in taxes on petrol and diesel, as well as to continue providing 7 kg of free rice for the poor under Anna Bhagya scheme. Kumaraswamy, who is also the state’s Finance Minister, had announced in his budget speech that free rice provided to the poor under the scheme would be reduced to 5 kg.
While speaking in the council, Kumaraswamy is quoted to have said “I have been criticised for changes in the Anna Bhagya scheme and Siddaramaiah has also made an appeal. We will continue the scheme as is.” However, there is no clarity as to what did he mean by 'as it is'.
“He didn’t make his stand clear on whether the poor will get 7 kg or 5 kg rice henceforth under the scheme,” BJP leader Jagadish Shettar, is quoted to have said.
The CM also refused to roll back the hike in fuel taxes.
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