Austerity comes to Karnataka

H.D. Kumaraswamy, Karnataka’s recently nominated Chief Minister, has pledged his support to the famers of the state. Yet, many warn that his calls for observing austerity in the running of the government and its functions can cause more long term harm than anyone has considered. His calls for curbing and eventually doing away with making non-essential expenses a thing of the past have been lauded in some circles. In other circles, however, his ambition is thought to be a very risky move that could further damage the economic conditions of this state, plunging it further down the hole of farmers and their cries for debt relief to be granted to them.


The estimated farm loan waiver totals up to a whopping Rs. 53,000 crore, to be paid out in phases, but without the promise of progress to other essential areas of development in Karnataka. These sectors include education, health, power, and others, forming the foundation of an agriculture support infrastructure. However, it must be noted that the victims appear to have found a voice in this difficult time, urging the Karnataka government to give them more benefits than before, not the least of which include waiver of loans taken for purchase of automobiles, and even weddings.


Many have warned that an attempt to wipe away farmer debt in the proposed manner will create a ripple effect in neighbouring states. This unprecedented move comes with the Chief Minister’s call to his subordinate to tighten their belts. However, the overall extent of the tightening needed was not analysed at all.

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