Staff Correspondent

‘Guidelines leave out a huge section of farmers’

Farmers demand at least six hours of three-phase power

‘Farmers with large holdings are also in financial trouble’

DAVANGERE: The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha has demanded a comprehensive change in the guidelines of the loan waiver scheme, introduced by the Centre, alleging that large numbers of deserving farmers were being left out of the scheme because of the alleged ill-conceived guidelines.

Talking to presspersons here on Monday, State KRRS working president K.T. Gangadhar said that the Government had introduced the waiver for farmers who had taken loans in June. He questioned the rationale behind this guideline, and stated that most farmers in the State usually borrowed loans in April and May.

The Government had also decided to waive loans on the basis of landholdings of each farmer, a guideline Mr. Gangadhar termed as “unscientific and unreasonable”. Instead, the Government should waive loans based on the amount of loss sustained by the farmers, he said.

Discrimination

The Government had discriminated between farmers with large and small landholdings, he said adding that many farmers with large landholdings had borrowed lakhs, and their situation was equally grim. Hence, the Government should extend the loan waivers to all the farmers.

The Government had earmarked Rs.70,000 crore for the loan waiver scheme, but had spent only Rs. 23,000 crore, he alleged. The Government must amend the guidelines in the next budget, he said.

Separate budget

The KRRS demanded a separate budget for agriculture in the State and demanded that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa fulfil his promise of free electricity for farmers.

He also demanded that the Government provide at least six hours of three-phase power supply to rural areas and six hours of single-phase power supply for farm operations.

The KRRS said that the Government would be responsible if there was a decline in agricultural production this year.

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