New Delhi, Nov 3: In a U-turn on the ruling BJP's main poll promise, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday ruled out any loan waiver to farmers and said his government would instead give soft loans to them at nominal interest.
"We cannot afford to waive farmers loans in the state," Rawat told reporters here while addressing a press conference to highlight the work of his government in the state after coming to power in April.
The BJP Chief Minister said that since his government is already reeling under a debt of Rs 45,000 crore it has decided to give soft loans to farmers at very nominal rate of interest.
"Our government has decided to give loans to farmers at two per cent interest, which they can use for any activities," he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on February 5 in its election manifesto in the run up to state polls, had promised to waive loans of small and marginal farmers. The party also promised to give interest-free loans to small and marginal farmers in the state.
Rawat said his government has taken the initiative to promote farming of peas over potatoes so that farmers can earn more.
"We are taking an initiative to improve the condition of the farmers. We are focussing to double the income of farmers," he said.
The BJP leader said that on the occasion of the state's foundation day, the state government is organising a hill mela initiative 'Raibaar' to invite eminent sons of the soil.
Rawat said the government will talk to prominent people from the state on important topics like tourism, environment, migration, unemployment, investment, infrastructure, industry and New Uttarakhand.
Rawat said, "Raibaar programme will also discuss the current situation of the state and the emphasise on all-round development."
In order to bring transparency in various sectors, the Uttarakhand government, he said, was taking various measures to end corruption.
"We have zero tolerance towards corruption,. Since the time our government came to power we have brought an end to corruption in the mining sector," Rawat claimed.
"We are moving forward to fulfill the promises made to the people during the election campaign against corruption," he added.
The Uttarakhand government is also taking initiatives to establish direct contact with the people of different sections of the society in order to understand their problems in a better way, he added.
The Chief MInister said that several road and rail projects which were pending for years, were given environmental clearance under his government.
"We have given environmental clearance to over 90 per cent of the projects in the state," Rawat said.
The Chief Minister said that a National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) campus would be built in the state.
"The land for NIFT institute has been acquired by the state government, and soon the construction work would start," he added.
The BJP leader said the state government has decided to revive two rivers -- Kosi and Rishipana river, which is a first of its kind initiative in the country.