Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS/KPSC Exams-11th January 2019

Karnataka may weed out 7 lakh farm loans from waiver scheme

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  • The intensive de-duplication work to identity farmers eligible for loan waiver is expected to identify at least 7 lakh people who have loans in both cooperative sector and commercial banks, resulting in saving of at least ₹6,000 crore to the State exchequer.
  • A farmer will be eligible for loan waiver from one of the two accounts if he holds both.
  • This means that about 33 lakh accounts of the nearly 40 lakh loan accounts across the cooperative and commercial bank sectors in the State will receive the benefit.

5.5 lakh identified so far

  • So far, of the about 15 lakh commercial bank loanees who have given details, about 5.5 lakh farmers have been found to be having loan accounts in both the sectors
  • Once the documentation of all the 21 lakh loan accounts in commercial banks is completed, it is expected that at least 7 lakh farmers would be having loans from both the sectors
  • While those in the cooperative sector will receive ₹1 lakh loan waiver and those having crop loans in commercial banks will receive ₹2 lakh.
  • The de-duplication work with the aid of a specially developed software has helped in identification of those farmers having loans in both the sectors.
  • After the de-duplication work, farmers will receive loan waiver benefits for their loan accounts in the cooperative sector.
  • For the de-duplication work, the government has sought Aadhaar number, ration card, and land survey numbers.

Handy Software

  • Had it not been for the software, farmers would have received multiple benefits.
  • This is what happened elsewhere in the country where farm loan waiver was implemented
  • The software has access to the beneficiary list of both the cooperative and commercial banks.
  • There is no manual intervention since the software matches names and does the de- duplication work
  • Meanwhile, about 30% of the loan accounts were referred to taluk-level committees after rejection by the software.
  • The software rejects any match of names that is less than 60%, and in many cases it is owing to the way the names are spelt differently in various records

Less than half of State farmers have access to institutional credit

  • The data generated as part of the farm loan-waiver scheme could come in handy for planners in the agriculture sector.
  • For, the data shows that roughly about 33 lakh farmers in Karnataka have access to institutional credit, which is less than half of the total estimated farmers in the State.
  • The government estimated that there are about 78 lakh farmers in the State, which was based on land records.
  • This would mean more than half of farmers, who have no access to institutional credit are turning towards private lending sources, which is dangerous

Complete waiver benefit

  • As much as 87% of the total crop loan accounts in the cooperative sector in the State will benefit from complete waiver under the scheme, which caps the benefit to loan up to ₹1 lakh.
  • Of the about 18 lakh loan accounts in primary agricultural cooperative societies across the State, about 15 lakh accounts are having ₹1 lakh or less.
  • In the commercial bank sector where the loan waiver benefit is ₹2 lakh, as many as 15.5 lakh accounts, of the about 21.80 lakh accounts (about 74%), have less than ₹2 lakh loan.
  • Though technically, 15.5 lakh loan accounts qualify for full waiver benefit, the Government Order specifies that if a farmer has loan in both cooperative sector and commercial bank, the loan in the cooperative sector qualifies for waiver.

Aggregators have been asked to disable child locks in cabs: State govt.

  • The State government has told the Karnataka High Court that the Transport Department has initiated steps to implement the new rule, which came into force on December 14, 2018, for disabling the child lock system in taxies across the State.
  • Notices have been issued to cab aggregators, like Ola and Uber, not to permit cabs to operate under their platform till the child lock is disabled.
  • A government counsel made this submission before a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Aravind Kumar during the hearing on a PIL petition, filed by Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, seeking direction for removal of the child lock system in cabs as they are being used to commit crimes against women commuters.

Need to inform Centre

  • The counsel pointed out to the bench that the Union Ministry of Transport and Highways needs to be notified in the matter as the State does not have the power to make a law to ask car manufacturers to disable the child lock system, which is fitted at the manufacturing level itself linking the child lock system with other security features mandated by law.
  • As per the new rule, which the State introduced based on the plea made in the PIL, permit would not be issued to motor cabs with the child lock system.
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