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Karnataka: Loan Waiver Money Deposited in Farmers’ Accounts Disappeared After LS Polls

A total of 13,988 farmers have lost the money which were deposited into their accounts in nationalised banks as part of the state government’s loan waiver scheme.
Karnataka Loan Waivers disappeared after Lok Sabha Polls

The loan waiver money deposited by the state government in the accounts of 13, 988 farmers has been deducted without any clarification from the part of banks or the government in Karnataka. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday, June 10, said that the discrepancy was noted in the 13,988 bank accounts of farmers in nationalised banks.

“On February 28, the government deposited Rs 50,000 in my bank account. On April 17, Rs 43,535 was deposited. With this, I was happy that my loan will be waived. Suddenly, the money just disappeared, and on June 2 and 3 a total of Rs 93,535 just vanished from my account.”, The News Minute quoted a farmer from Kalburgi district of Karnataka - Hyderabad border region, who was affected by this issue.

The farmers’ organisations are alleging that the state government deposited the money in the accounts of farmers only with the aim of winning their votes in the Lok Sabha polls.

Just before the recent Lok Sabha polls, the state government announced that loans in commercial banks of Rs 4,830 crore had been waived for 7.49 lakh farmers till April 2019; and loans in cooperative banks worth Rs 3,488 crore were waived for 8.1 lakh farmers, according to the TNM report.

According to the reports, from the banks an amount of Rs.59 crore had been refunded to the state government.

Also read: Elections 2019: Are We Merely a Vote Bank? Farmers of North Karnataka Ask

An audit conducted by the government itself shows that money was missing from accounts of  13,988 farmers.

During the time of the second budget in February this year, the Chief Minister had said that the government has released Rs 5,450 crore so far towards farmers loan waiver scheme. There was a situation that on an average, one farmer commits suicide in every 12 hours in the state. In the year 2018-2019, reports upto March 31 said there were a total of 572 farmers commits suicide in Karnataka, and about 128 cases were under review. Anyhow this is a decrease from the previous year, there were 1,050 farmer suicide cases in last year. According to reports, in a period of four years from 2015-16 to 2018-19, there were a total of 3,737 farmers’ suicide in the state. In case of the number of farmer suicides per year in the country, Karnataka is the state which stands second after Maharashtra.

In the manifesto published by the Janata Dal (Secular), the party promised to waive farm loans if voted to power during the Assembly elections last year. Accordingly, in the first budget of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, Chief Minister H. D Kumaraswamy announced Rs. 34,000 crore farm loan waiver in July 2018. Under the proposed scheme, the beneficiaries included the small farmers, who had taken up loans upto Rs 2 lakh and were unable to repay the amount till December 31, 2017. Under this scheme,  a total of 17.32 lakh farmers were included. In December, the state government admitted in the legislative Assembly that only about 800 farmers have availed the benefits of the scheme because of the delay in processing due to the poor database.

The current situation regarding the disappearance of money from the accounts of the farmers has created anger among the affected farmers across the state.

On June 14 at 2.30 PM, the state government called a meeting with representatives of various banks to discuss the specific issue, Kumaraswamy said in a press statement.

Also read: Are Farmers of Karnataka Being Deceived by False Promises of the Government?

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