Politics
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy tweeted to say safeguarding farmers’ interests is his government’s first priority.

The Karnataka State Cabinet on Thursday approved the waiver of short-term crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh borrowed from cooperative banks.

The decision by the state government follows its promise in the state budget on July 5 and is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 9,448.61 crore. 

The waiver comes in the first phase of CM HD Kumaraswamy's loan waiver scheme to alleviate the troubles of farmers in the state. 

The loans taken from commercial banks is still being discussed and a decision is expected next week. 

CM Kumaraswamy appealed to farmers in the state to not resort to suicide after reports emerged of a number of suicides in the state in spite of the announcement of a loan waiver. In July, four suicides were reported from Bidar, the northern most district of Karnataka with the reasons linked to mounting crop loans. 

"Dear Farmers, please don't resort to suicide. It's my promise to you that this govt will save you from economic distress. Safeguarding #Farmers' interest is our first priority. The cabinet approved the first phase loan waiver scheme today. #Loanwaiver will benefit all farmers," Kumaraswamy tweeted.

The loan waiver however comes with several conditions attached. It will not be applicable to government or private employees earning Rs 20,000 salary or pension per month. It will also not be applicable to those who have paid income tax in one of the last three years and for farm equipment and for mortgaging vehicles.