BENGALURU: Co-operation Minister ST Somashekhar on Wednesday said the Karnataka Government will decide on waiving loans of farmers who succumbed to Covid-19 by the end of this week. If the government decides to go ahead with the plan, loans worth Rs 79.47 crore, availed by 10,187 farmers who have succumbed to Covid-19 so far, will be waived.
The minister also added that a meeting will be called for with the apex bank executive board to arrive at a decision. The Co-operation Department has put together a district-wise list of farmers who succumbed to Covid-19 and the loans they have availed from cooperative societies, primary agricultural credit societies (PACs), district central cooperative (DCC) banks, etc.
“The Chief Minister has already considered the move and a decision will be taken in four days. Farmer welfare during the pandemic is our priority and necessary action will be taken. The CM wants to help families of farmers who have succumbed to Covid-19,” minister Somashekhar told reporters on Wednesday.
He also gave a break-up of loans that were availed last year. “In 2020-2021, our target was to reach out to 24.50 lakh farmers and give out loans of Rs 15,300 crore and our achievement rate was 114 per cent. We have given loans to the tune of Rs 17,108 crore to 25.67 lakh farmers. So far, of the 25.67 lakh farmers who availed loans, 10,187 farmers have succumbed to Covid-19,” the minister said.In Belagavi, 3,334 farmers have succumbed to the pandemic, the highest in the State, while 824 farmer deaths were recorded in Bidar and 754 in Vijayapura by the Cooperation Department.