A day before the commencement of the nine-day session of the State legislature, the five-member coordination committee headed by the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday approved the Congress–JD(S) coalition government’s Common Minimum Programme (CMP), which includes waiver of farm loans, creation one crore jobs, and allocation of ₹1.25 lakh crore for irrigation over the next five years.
- Allocation of ₹1.25 lakh crore for irrigation in five years
- Construction of 20 lakh houses in five years
- New sports policy
- Universal health policy
While the farm loan waiver was the major promise of the JD(S) in its election manifesto, creation of one crore jobs and spending ₹1.25 lakh crore on irrigation during the next five years were the major highlights of the Congress election manifesto.
Formulation of a new Sate sports policy and universal health policy, popularly called ‘Arogya Karnataka’, have also been included in the CMP. All flagship programme of the erstwhile Siddaramaiah-led Congress government have been included in the CMP, said co-ordination committee convener Danish Ali.
The CMP also includes construction of 20 lakh houses for the homeless families in the State during the next five years. Sources said the Congress election manifesto promises dominated in the CMP.
The five-member committee constituted to draft the CMP submitted the draft to the coordination committee, which approved it with “minor changes”, Mr. Ali said.
Mr. Ali, who briefed reporters on the decisions taken at the coordination committee meeting, said Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who holds the Finance portfolio, would present the budget of the new government on July 5 and provide detailed guidelines of the loan-waiver scheme.
Loans taken by farmers from both cooperative banks and nationalised banks up to May 31, 2018 would be written off. However, Mr. Ali did not disclose the upper limit of the loans to be waived.
Mr. Kumaraswamy said “all went smoothly” and there were no differences between the two parties on waiver of crop loans.
Sources said the farm loan waiver scheme was expected to cost the State exchequer about ₹35,000 crore — ₹6,000 crore for cooperative loans and ₹29,000 crore for loans taken from nationalised banks.
The CMP has given priority to the skill development programme, which was launched during the previous Congress regime. The Congress manifesto had promised to create at least 15 lakh to 20 lakh jobs each year in the State and provide programmes for skill development, encouraging entrepreneurship, and increasing youths’ employability quotient.
The CMP has given priority to the irrigation sector too and adequate funds would be allocated in the State budget for the sector.
Mr. Ali said the CMP would be released in the form of a booklet soon.
The other members of the committee who attended the meeting were AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal, and Deputy Chief Minister and State Congress president G. Parameshwara.