“I have decided to waive off all defaulted crop loans of the farmers made up to 31 December 2017 in the first stage,” is what Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said while presenting the budget.
The question that arises now is whether this statement is being substantiated in reality or not?
According to the report of News9, a debt-ridden farmer has committed suicide by hanging himself in Bagalkot. The deceased farmer has been identified as Hampanna Hoogar.
— NEWS9 (@NEWS9TWEETS) December 16, 2018
This suicide goes on to show the real face of JD(S)-Congress coalition and has completely exposed the false claims made by the alliance. Before this incident, a month ago in November a 44-year-old sugarcane farmer committed suicide and left a note addressing HD Kumaraswamy. In the note, the farmer identified as Jayakumar held government accountable over mounting debts.
In Ballari district, another farmer had committed suicide due to the mounting debts over him as the government wasn’t able to provide loan waiver. According to the police reports, 40-year-old Jummani Lingappa of Varakanahalli village didn’t own farmland but had taken credit to cultivate crops on land his mother owned.
The amount mounted to Rs. 97,000 with compound interest and he was wrecked with the perished crop and furthermore, he hanged himself from a tree. The twin death in the month of November and then yesterday’s suicide news from Bagalkot is a matter of concern and the opportunistic alliance should decide whether they are actually concerned with farmers or not?
In the month of July, HD Kumaraswamy had announced an Rs. 34,000 crore farm loan waiver in the state budget, to be spread over four years and as many stages as it will cover farmers who had defaulted on loan payments till 31st December 2017. The Janta Dal (Secular) party in its election manifesto had promised to waive off Rs. 53,000 crore of agricultural debt once the party comes into power but in reality, only 800 farmers till date have been benefitted from farm loan waivers in Karnataka.
In reality, nothing till date has been substantiated and just a handful of farmers have been benefitted with this scheme and the announcement was done with the motive to woo farmer community ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress-JD(S) government of Karnataka imposed as many as 11 conditions for getting the benefit of the loan waiver scheme. Earlier, the state government had said that it was committed to write-off only crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh issued by nationalized banks and cooperative societies until July 10.
In November, according to the TOI report, farmers were being issued arrest warrants for not repaying their loans. Many Private Banks have gone to the extent of filing criminal cases against the defaulters on charges of dishonoring post-dated cheques. In Belagavi district, 160 suits were filed and arrest warrants against 62 farmers were issued. Private Banks have even seized the tractor of the farmers.
According to a Deccan Herald report, the state government in its order had said that those farmers who have taken a loan on gold ornaments, or a vehicle loan or a loan to buy fodder or anything else will not get the benefit of the loan waiver scheme. The order also said that a farmer would not be eligible for the scheme if he/she has filed his/her income tax return for even one year during the last three years or has a job in the government or cooperative sector and gets a monthly salary of up to Rs 20,000. The order also said that small farmers should not have more than two hectares of land; their annual income should be less than Rs 1.25 lakh.
The two parties that forged an unholy alliance just to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party out are losing ground as the farmers of Karnataka seem to be in distress and are committing suicide.