Karnataka, is going to be the fifth state in the latest round of waivers which started in UP last year, triggering similar demands in other states. In Karnataka, this could benefit more than 22 lakh farmers. Farm loan waiver has always been a major demand of farmers across the country. A large number of farmers’ outfits have been pitching in with many of them even getting opposition parties to bring a private members’ bill — Farmers’ Freedom from Indebtedness Bill — in Parliament to deal with the issue.
It had also promised to waive off loans of bigger farmers. The scheme is being implemented in the state in a phased manner, depending on the size of landholdings and loan amount. According to recent report, UP has already waived off over Rs 36,000 crore farm loans after BJP took office last year. On the other hand, Maharashtra had announced to waive loans of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for about 87 lakh farmers.
Before the UP government’s move, a mega loan waiver scheme in the country was implemented in 2008 when the then UPA government had initially announced a waiver of Rs 60,000-crore loan for small and marginal farmers. It was later extended to the large farmers as well.
With three states — UP, Maharashtra and Punjab — having already implemented it as part of their poll promises, Rajasthan, which is going to polls later this year, also recently announced a waiver for small and marginal farmers. UP had announced a waiver for crop loans of up to Rs 1 lakh for nearly 87 lakh small and marginal farmers while Punjab had promised waiver for farm loans of up to Rs 2 lakh for farmers with less than 5 acres of land.
Krishi jagran, New Delhi