Seeking to woo farmers in an election year, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday announced an increase in the limit of interest-free short-term loan given to farmers from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh from the coming financial year.
This would ensure availability of hassle-free and need-based loan facility for making necessary preparation for farm-related activities, Bommai, who also holds the finance portfolio, said presenting the 2023-34 budget in the state Legislative Assembly.
"This year, loan of Rs 25,000 crore will be distributed to more than 30 lakh farmers," he said.
The government, Bommai said, has decided to give an additional subsidy of Rs 10,000 in the year 2023-24 under a new scheme 'Bhoo Siri' for 'Kisan Credit Card' holders.
This would facilitate the farmers to purchase seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and other farm inputs in times of exigencies, the Chief Minister said.
The state would contribute Rs 2,500 and NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) would give Rs 7,500. "This will benefit around 50 lakh farmers of the state," he said.
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Assembly elections in Karnataka are expected to be held during April-May.
The Chief Minister, in the budget, has also announced 'Shrama Shakthi' scheme that would provide financial assistance of Rs 500 per head every month to landless women farm labourers through direct benefit transfer (DBT).
Aimed at enabling all children who graduate from high schools to continue their higher education, he announced free education in Government Pre-University and Government Degree Colleges under 'CM Vidya Shakti Scheme'. This will benefit eight lakh students of the state, he added.
Noting that for the first time in the state, post COVID pandemic, revenue receipts are estimated to be more than revenue expenditure by Rs 402 crore, Bommai said this is a "revenue-surplus" budget.
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