BENGALURU:After reports surfaced of a loan-waiver gaffe, the Karnataka government has decided to waive all eligible farm loans taken from nationalised banks in one go.A government order was issued on Wednesday following reports that money credited into bank accounts of 13,988 farmers was withdrawn by banks after farmers were found ineligible for loans during an audit. The issue had caused huge embarrassment to the JD(S)- Congress coalition government, with shocked farmers alleging that the government had deposited money only to win votes and withdrew it after being trounced in the Lok Sabha polls. When the loan waiver was announced in August 2018, the government had planned to pay money to farmers in four equal installments. The new announcement means the government has to release about Rs 4,617 crore at one time to complete the process in commercial banks. The government has already released Rs 3,930 crore of the estimated total of Rs 8,550 crore required to fund loan accounts in commercial banks. In the cooperative sector, farm loan waiver is almost complete with the government releasing Rs 8,759 crore towards loan accounts of 18.7 lakh farmers. In a damage-control exercise, chief minister who is under attack from the BJP over delay in payment of money to loan accounts over the past few months, took to Twitter to make the announcement and said the government decided to waive all loans, including regular, restructured and those overdue, in commercial banks. He, however, said the decision on waiver of NPA (non-performing assets) loans and payment of interest on such loans from January 1, 2018, will be notified later.
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