The Karnataka cabinet has approved the farm loan waiver announced during the recent Assembly session in view of the severe drought in the state. The proposal would benefit 1.5 million farmers in the state who had availed of farm loans from agriculture cooperative societies up to Rs 25,000 during the period between August 1, 2011 and July 25, 2012.
“The chief minister had announced the farm loan interest waiver in the state Assembly last month in the wake of the severe drought gripping parts of the state. The financial burden on account of the interest waiver would be Rs 3,500 crore on the state exchequer. A government order giving effect to the proposal would be issued very soon,” Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, minister for primary and secondary education, said here on Thursday.
Briefing reporters after a meeting of the state Cabinet, chaired by chief minister Jagadish Shettar, he said the government was pursuing with the Centre to share the burden with the state.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah had attacked the government for not issuing the order on farm loan waiver announced in the Budget session.
The Cabinet also approved a rural roads development programme in 189 rural Assembly constituencies at a cost of Rs 2,160 crore. The government had planned to develop about 50 km of rural roads in each of the 189 constituencies. Of these, it has so far developed 20 km in each and the remaining 30 km would be developed this year.
The government also decided to construct 6,867 houses for economically weaker sections and distribution of 130,471 housing sites by the Karnataka Housing Board at a cost of Rs 7,888 crore.
Kageri said the government had also decided to allow Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) to import 1.5 million tonne coal for its second unit of 600 Mw thermal power plant in Udupi district. The decision will enable the company to import coal with higher ash content of up to 12 per cent as against 4.75 per cent earlier.
The other decisions of the Cabinet included allotment of 39.38 acres land in Bangalore East Taluk to National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences for its expansion and a grant of Rs 100 crore for the National Land Records Modernisation programme.