Interest-free loans for farmers being considered

Started by sajiv, Nov 20, 2008, 05:04 AM

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Karkala: Minister for Cooperation Lakshman Savadi said on Wednesday that the State Government intended to give interest-free loans to farmers if the Centre reimbursed Rs. 1,794 crore that the State had used for its own loan-waiver scheme.

He was speaking after inaugurating a programme on 'Women and Youth Empowerment' organised by the Karnataka Rajya Sahakari Mahamandala, Karnataka State Cooperative Apex Bank and other organisations here as part of the 55th All-India Cooperative Week celebrations.

Mr. Savadi said the State Government's loan waiver scheme was implemented before the Centre announced its loan waiver scheme for farmers.

The Centre had provided funds to other States for its (Centre's) scheme. Since Karnataka had spent Rs. 1,794 crore before the Centre's scheme was announced, the amount should be reimbursed.

"This will help the State Government come up with a scheme to provide interest-free loans to farmers," he said. Mr. Savadi said that the number of women's self-help groups (SHGs) in the State had crossed the one-lakh mark.

These groups had together saved Rs. 160 crore. "Women's SHGs have been a resounding success in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts," he said.

'Sahakara Ratna'
The Minister said that the Department of Cooperation would give "Sahakara Ratna" to five persons who had rendered valuable contribution to field of cooperatives at Shimoga on November 20. Those chosen for this award are Anantapadmanabha Shastri, T. Sonappa, G.S. Doreswamy, Ramesh D. Vaidya and Rao Saheb Anna Saheb Patil. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa would give away the awards.

The State Government had set for itself a target of giving subsidised loans totalling Rs. 4,000 crore at three per cent interest rate to farmers in its present budget, Mr. Savadi said. Chairman of the Karnataka State Cooperative Apex Bank M.N. Rajendra Kumar presided over the function. Chairman of Karnataka Rajya Sahakara Mahamandala G.T. Devegowda; Gopal Bhandary,MLA; Secretary, Department of Cooperatives N.C. Muniyappa; Registrar, Department of Cooperatives D.N. Nayak; Dakshina Kannada Milk Producers' Union president Kaup Diwakar Shetty; Udupi District Cooperatives Union president Kishan Hegde Kolkebail; Sunil Kumar, former MLA; and others were present.

Earlier, Mr. Savadi inaugurated the Karkala branch of the Navodaya Multipurpose Souharda Cooperative Society .