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Rs 1,611 cr released for farm loan waiver till January 31: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala

Feb 6 (AZINS) Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala Wednesday said the JDS-Congress government has released Rs 1,611 crore towards the farm loan waiver schemes, benefiting 3.28 lakh till January 31 this year and its implementation was being accelerated.

"The implementation of the (crop loan waiver) scheme is being accelerated with an aim to cover all eligible crop loans in co-operative institutions and commercial banks," he said in his address to the joint legislative session, which was deemed as read following disruption by opposition BJP.

The farm loan waiver was a key electoral promise made by Chief Minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy in the run-up to the last year assembly election.

Opposition BJP has been accusing the JDS-Congress government of betraying the farmers after promising to waive Rs 53,000 crore worth loans, saying the benefit had not reached all the beneficiaries.

The Governor could not complete his address to the joint legislative session in view of the protests by the BJP members who entered the Well of the House and alleged that he was being "made to read lies".

Vala's speech copy highlighted the achievements of the Kumaraswamy led coalition government ever since it assumed office.

Apart from the crop loan waiver, agriculture market reforms have helped farmers in realizing 38 percent more income, with online and unified market platform so far showing transaction of 5.48 crore tonnes of agriculture commodities worth Rs 1.21 lakh crore, the governor said.

Expressing concern over the severe drought situation prevailing in the state, the governor said the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was helpful in providing employment to 18.56 lakh families till January 31, this year.

"We intend to accelerate reforms in agricultural practices through initiatives like zero budget natural farming and adoption of Israeli model. A special mission directorate has been established to implement Israeli technology-based farming," he said.

On the Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project across Cauvery, which is being opposed by Tamil Nadu, Vala noted that the Central Water Commission had given its consent for preparing a detailed project report.

Simplification of online facility for affidavit based land use diversion, introducing "Arogya Karnataka" for universal health coverage, improving drinking water facilities under'Jaladhare' scheme at a cost of Rs 53,000 crore and welfare of SCs, STs and BackwardCommunities were among a few major initiatives of the Kumaraswamy government, he said.

In terms of investments, 1,958 projects with an investment of Rs 3.49 lakh crore were approved from 2014 to 2019. It will create job opportunities to 10.28 lakh people, the governor said.

Regarding Bengaluru, Vala said, impetus had been given to the suburban railway, Metro Rail project up to the KempegowdaInternational Airport and intelligent traffic management system.