Committed to waive farm loans: Karnataka CM

Bengaluru, June 19 :  Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)-Congress coalition government is committed to waiving farm loans.

“I am soon going to call a meeting with the nationalised banks to figure out the modalities to waive loans of farmers in a scientific way. Our government is highly committed to waiving farm loans,” Kumaraswamy said at his maiden press conference here after assuming office on May 23.

The Chief Minister, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a two-day visit to New Delhi starting Sunday, said he has requested the Central government to bear 50 per cent of cost of the farm loans the state government plans to waive.

“As we are ready to waive loans to free farmers from debt, I request the Central government to provide 50 per cent financial support to our initiative,” the JD-S leader had said at the fourth meeting of the governing council of Niti Aayog.

He also wrote to the Prime Minister on Monday to allocate 25 per cent of Rs 2 lakh-crore special bonds the Central government plans to raise to bail-out state-run banks to waive farm loans across the country.

Admitting that his JD-S did not receive people’s mandate, the Chief Minister said his government will work for the all round development of the state and its citizens.

“The state government will work towards presenting a scheme which allows all the farmers to get loans without any difficulty.”

The JD-S leader promised in the party’s election manifesto that it would waive farm loans within 24 hours of assuming office if it was voted to power with a majority.

“Since we were not voted to power with a majority, we need to discuss with the other leaders in the coalition government,” he said.

The Chief Minister who was late by 90 minutes for the press conference at Press Club in the city centre said he was busy with public visiting him at his home in the southern suburb.