Bangalore, Mar 13: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa today (Mar 13, 2006) reiterated the State's demand for reducing farm loans across the country to six per cent from the current 12 per cent.
Talking to newspersons here, he said the Union Government should ensure that farmers got loans at a low rate of six per cent, irrespective of whether they take it from nationalised banks or the cooperative sector.
He pointed out that as they did not get remunerative prices for their produce, farmers were unable to repay the loans taken for agriculture purpose at high rates of interest.
Earlier, speaking after inaugurating 'Interaction Meeting on Current Issues and Development of Small Scale Industries in Karnataka,' organised by Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA), Mr Yediyurappa said the State Government was committed to encouraging Small Scale Industries (SSIs) and provide proper infrastructure for its growth.
''The Government proposes to give a boost to SSIs in the State and the new Industrial Policy to be introduced from next month will address the problems faced by the SSIs at present,'' he assured.
Stating the State had to clear a long-pending subsidy arrears of Rs 300 crore to the SSIs, Mr Yediyurappa informed that of the pending amount, the government had recently released Rs 85 crore and the remaining would be cleared soon.
He said it was proposed to set up Industrial Clusters in 25 districts and bring in further decentralisation in marketing to encourage SSIs in the state.
Stating that SSIs generate more employment opportunities, Mr Yediyurappa said that at present 18 lakh people were employed in the sector. ''We have to give priority to SSIs in the State, besides IT and BT industries. The state currently stood fifth in attracting investments domestically and occupied eighth place in drawing Foreign Direct Investment. Karnataka should work to attain the number one position in attracting investments both domestically and from abroad,'' he added.