Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday announced farm loan waiver worth ₹34,000 crore. He presented the Congress-JD(S) coalition government’s maiden budget in the assembly today.
“I have decided to limit the loan amount to Rs 2 lakh per farmer. Due to this crop loan wiaver scheme, farmers will get the benefit of Rs 34,000 crore. I have decided to waive all defaulted crop loans of farmers up to 31 Dec 2017 in the first stage. Farmers who repaid the loan within time, as an encouragement to the non defaulting farmers, I have decided to credit the repaid loan amount or Rs 25000 whichever is less.” Said Kumaraswamy.
“To facilitate farmers to avail new loans, action will be taken by the government to issue clearance certificate by waiving the arrears form the defaulting account. For this purpose, Rs 6,500 crore is earmarked in the 2018-19 budget.” He added.
In order to generate revenue for the massive loan waiver, the CM has decided to increase excise duty on both fuel and alcohol, apart from the raise in road tax.
“I propose to increase the rate of tax on petrol from the present 30% to 32% and diesel from 19% to 21%, so petrol price will be increased by Rs.1.14/ltr and diesel by Rs 1.12/litre.”
The Chief Minister said even with this hike the prices of petrol and diesel would be lower in Karnataka when compared to the neighbouring States.
Kumaraswamy also proposed a hike in the additional excise duty on Indian-made liquor by 4 per cent across the board on all 18 slabs.