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Yediyurappa defends decision on low-interest farm loans

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B.S. Yediyurappa
B.S. Yediyurappa

Special Correspondent

Says Planning Commission members raised objections

SHIMOGA: Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa took exception on Wednesday to the objection raised by Planning Commission to its decision to extend agricultural loans through cooperative institutions at an interest rate of four per cent.

Talking to presspersons at Shikaripur about 60 km from here, he said some members of the Planning Commission raised objections to it, while he and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy were discussing the annual plan with them.

He wondered how the Planning Commission could raise objection to the Government's decision to extend the agricultural loan at four per cent of interest when it was meeting the entire financial shortfall from its resources.

He said the annual plan size with an outlay of Rs. 17,282 crore which showed 10 per cent growth over that of the previous year was accepted by the Planning Commission.

State's model

He said that the Centre should have followed Karnataka's model in offering the agricultural loans at four per cent. "When it is possible for a State Government, why should it be difficult for the Centre to do it," he asked.

Mr. Yediyurappa, who also holds the Finance portfolio, described the Union Budget presented by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday as disappointing.

Resource mobilisation

He said he was confident that the Government would mobilise the necessary resources to meet the financial deficit to the extent of Rs. 5,000 crore which was likely to arise owing to the move to ban the sale of arrack and lottery tickets in addition to offering agricultural loan at low interest rate.

He said that no ongoing welfare programmes would be allowed to suffer on account of financial crunch.

Mr. Yediyurappa said that President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam while inaugurating the Suvarna Gramodaya programme at Saradgi village in Gulbarga district on Sunday appreciated the Government's decision to ban the sale of arrack and lottery tickets.

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