Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 50% support to waive loans of farmers in the state.
Kumaraswamy raised the issue of agrarian distress in the state while speaking at the at the 4th meeting of the NITI Ayog governing council in New Delhi.
He pointed out that about 85 lakh farmers have outstanding debts in banks. "Due to recurring droughts, the distress of the farmers is even more severe. I request Government of India to provide 50% support for our loan waiver initiative.," Kumaraswamy said in his speech.
Kumaraswamy had earlier promised that loans of farmers would be waived if he was elected Chief Minister of the state. However, after being chosen as the head of a coalition government, he cited compulsions from the coalition partner Congress as the reason for the delay in waiving off farmer loans.
Kumaraswamy chaired a meeting with 30 farmer group leaders on May 30 during which he announced a phase-wise plan to waive loans of farmers in the state within 15 days. He later claimed that waiving of farmer loans will be announced shortly and that the plan will have several stipulations attached to it.
He urged people to set aside political ideologies and work together for development. "The new government has to fulfill several aspirations of the people of Karnataka, and we need full support of Government of India for this. While we represent various political ideologies, when it comes to development we should work together," he said in his address.
He further said he hoped that NITI Aayog would "prove its federal character" and help the state waive loans of farmers. "I am sure the NITI Aayog will prove its federal character given the developmental disparities in India. The NITI Aayog and the Government of India must re-emphasize federal, participative medium term planning with concrete goals and inclusive development programs," he added.