Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Wednesday launched the Arthika Spandana programme of disbursing loans to the tune of 39,300 crore through various cooperative institutions.
Under this scheme, 15,300 crore would be disbursed to the agriculture sector while a sum of 24,000 crore would be earmarked for the non-agricultural sector.
The Chief Minister, who launched the programme by symbolically handing over cheques towards loans to 50 beneficiaries, hailed the cooperative institutions for helping people during the times of COVID-19 and floods.
He said the Centre had granted 4,525 crore to the State to for strengthening farmers producers organisations and primary agricultural cooperatives, among others. Under the scheme, the primary agricultural cooperatives would be upgraded as multi-service centres. As many as 1,549 cooperatives would be benefited by this scheme, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Cooperation Minister S.T. Somashekhar said his department had set a target of disbursing crop loans to the tune of 15,300 crore this year. So far, 7,929.30 crore had been disbursed to 12.11 lakh farmers at zero and 3 per cent interest rates.
Listing other benefits granted to farmers, he pointed out that the government had recently released 1,885 crore as incentive to dairy farmers at a rate of 5 per litre. Similarly a new scheme had been taken up to provide loans at zero per cent interest rate to dairy farmers and fishermen.
The Minister said the cooperative sector and APMCs had donated 53 crore to the Chief Ministers relief fund to help tackle the COVID-19 situation. Also, an incentive of 12.75 crore had been provided to 12,608 Asha workers. This was in addition to 79 crore granted to the Karnataka Milk Federation to supply free milk to poor families during the lockdown period.