Bangalore: The Karnataka government on Wednesday said it has sought a Central assistance of Rs 11,489 crore on drought relief works.

"The state has demanded Rs 7,672 crore to take up drought relief works on short-term and Rs 3,817 crore for long-term works...The government has submitted two separate and detailed memorandum to the Centre through state officials yesterday," Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said.

Shettar said he would also request the Centre to waive loans taken by the farmers from nationalised banks to the extent possible.

"Eighteen lakh farmers in the state have taken a total loan amount of Rs 19,000 crore. Our request is for a waiver to the extent possible by the nationalised banks," he said at a meet-the-press programme organised by Press Club of Bangalore and Bangalore Reporters' Guild here.

He noted that the state has announced waiver of loans to the extent of Rs 25,000 taken by farmers from agri-cooperative societies and the government has made a provision of Rs 3,500 crore in the budget for the purpose.

"We will request the Centre to reimburse 75 percent of this money," the CM said.

Shettar said the government will develop 30 km of rural roads in each Assembly segment this year. In addition, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has promised sanction for development of 2,000 km roads in the state under the second phase of Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana with 75 percent central assistance.

The Chief Minister said he and Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka would undertake a review of various departments which had been distributed among themselves every week, while overall review would be made once in 15 days.

On who would lead the BJP in the elections, due in May next year, he said the party would take the decision.

Asked about delay in appointment of Karnataka Lokayukta, Shettar said it is because a case is pending before the Supreme Court. There is no malafide intention on the part of the government. "We desire that the process of appointment should begin as soon as possible," he said.


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