K'taka mulls waiver of loan taken by farmer-victims of Covid

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Bengaluru, July 14 (PTI): As many as 10,187 farmers in Karnataka have died of COVID-19 and have left behind outstanding loans worth Rs 79.47 crore which the State government is likely write off, Co-operation Minister S T Somashekar said on Wednesday.

The loans were taken from the District Credit Cooperative (DCC), Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) and the apex bank, the Minister said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is considering this and would decide on it in three-four days, he said.

'A meeting of the Apex bank board will be convened in three or four days and a decision will be taken. The Chief Minister and the government is always committed to come to the rescue of farmers in distress due to COVID, and effective measures are being taken to ensure that farmers can avail themselves of the loan in the days to come,' he was quoted as saying by his office in a statement.

Last week, the Minister said the data of farmers who had succumbed to the virus is being gathered.

Today, he said, 'It is the wish of the Chief Minister to come to the rescue of farmers who have died due to COVID, and the government should help the families of the deceased farmers who are in distress, and on his directions such a measure (loan waiver) is being considered.' According to him, a target to give Rs 15,300 crore short and medium-term crop loan to 24.50 lakh farmers was set in 2020-21, and the achievement was beyond the target as loans totalling Rs 17,108 crore were given to 25.67 lakh farmers, which is 114 per cent. PTI KSU NVG NVG

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