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Recovery of over Rs. 3,400-crore co-op. loan held up: Minister

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DISCUSSION: (From left) G.S. Narayanaswamy, Director, Karnataka State Department of Agricultural Marketing; G.T. Devegowda, Minister for Cooperation; Allam prabhu Patil, president of Karnataka State Cooperative Horticulture Produce Marketing and Proc essing Federation, and Vasanth Kumar, Director, Horticulture Department, at a seminar in Bangalore on Thursday. Photo: K. Gopinathan
DISCUSSION: (From left) G.S. Narayanaswamy, Director, Karnataka State Department of Agricultural Marketing; G.T. Devegowda, Minister for Cooperation; Allam prabhu Patil, president of Karnataka State Cooperative Horticulture Produce Marketing and Proc essing Federation, and Vasanth Kumar, Director, Horticulture Department, at a seminar in Bangalore on Thursday. Photo: K. Gopinathan

Staff Reporter

Confusion over loan waiver has affected repayment, says Deve Gowda

BANGALORE: The recovery of over Rs. 3,400 crore in cooperative loan had been "held up" after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy announced the waiver of loans, G.T. Deve Gowda, Minister for Cooperation, said here on Thursday.

In a chat with presspersons on the sidelines of a seminar on the problems faced by the cooperative sector at the Hebbal campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences, he said all those who had taken loans had stopped repaying it.

Even those who had taken huge loans of more than Rs. 1 crore had stopped repayment, given the confusion over the issue. This had adversely hit cooperative banking and would affect the interests of farmers too.

Earlier, the Minister said in his speech that the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister should take an early decision on the type of loans to be waived. Once this is cleared, repayment of cooperatives loans would commence.

Mr. Gowda hoped that a decision would be taken by February 20.

The Minister, who is also president of the Karnataka State Cooperative Federation (KSCF), assured its office-bearers that he would consider the demand for grant of Rs. 1 crore as the Government's share in the federation to rejuvenate it.

Farmers whose crops had been affected by diseases needed Government help.

Lack of will power

He was critical of the federation's lack of will power to compete with the private sector in a globalised market. It should try to buy quality fruits and vegetables from farmers and bring them to the doorstep of consumers, he said.

On the other hand, the Horticulture Department had lost steam and there was talk of selling the infrastructure to private players.

"That means we are ineffective," he said, adding the situation should change forthwith.

Allam Prabhu Patil, president of the Karnataka State Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Federation, said the Government should invest in KSCF shares to boost its working capital.

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