Staff Correspondent

It follows assurance by Chief Minister on loan waiver

  • Waiver to benefit farmers, who had taken loans from cooperative banks
  • Dues from farmers towards cooperative banks estimated at Rs. 6,800 crore

    MYSORE: Farmers in Mysore and Chamarajanagar region have decided against repaying their agricultural loan dues to cooperative banks.

    Speaking to presspersons here, president of Kabini Farmers' Welfare Association Kurubur Shanthakumar, who is also president of Sugarcane Growers' Association of Mysore and Chamarajanagar, said farmers had decided against repaying their dues after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy made an announcement on loan waiver.

    "We will consider the Chief Minister's assurance on loan waiver as the last word in the matter and will not repay our dues. If the banks approach us, we will refer to them the Chief Minister's statement in the matter," Mr Shanthakumar said when reporters sought to draw his attention to the reported difference of opinion on the loan waiver between Mr. Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

    Though the Chief Minister's initiative in the matter of loan waiver was a welcome move, Mr. Shanthakumar said loan waiver to farmers was not happening for the first time. "The former Prime Minister V.P. Singh had announced such a loan waiver during 1991, while Tamil Nadu Government had waived agricultural loans amounting to Rs. 8,150 crore only last year and announced free power to farmers," he said.

    Mr. Shanthakumar said the loan waiver would benefit only farmers, who had obtained loans from cooperative banks.

    The farmers' associations will pressure the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government to direct nationalised banks to waive loans extended to farmers, he said.

    Mr. Shanthakumar justified the loan waiver on the grounds of the difficult circumstances under which farmers were leading a livelihood. "The Union Government has signed the World Trade Organisation treaty which has ruined the lives of farmers. After suffering huge losses in agriculture, the farmers have no money to repay their dues," he said.