Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy has asked officials to put together a list from all districts of the state on outstanding education loans as the government is looking toward waiving them off.
If the scheme does come through, students from families that are financially weak could get their student loans written off. Speaking to the press on Tuesday, the CM said that the government as of now does not have complete data on the state of loans taken by students for educational purposes. The data will be put together based on each district, he said.
Earlier this month, reports emerged that the Social Welfare Department was asked to put this data together. The list was originally supposed to consist of students in the SC/ST communities, notes The News Minute.
Kumaraswamy has now confirmed that the loan waiver is not just for students of the SC/ST communities. "We will not discriminate based on caste or community. It will be for the poor," he said.
The report goes on to state that the actual cost of a waiver of this magnitude is yet to be assessed by the government. CM also did not clarify what kind of loans and what the criteria will be for this upcoming loan waiver programme.
The State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) has made an estimate that shows just how much this programme could cost Karnataka. Education or student loans for the year 2018–2019 alone could be in the neighbourhood of Rs 4,604 crores in commercial, grameen and cooperative banks put together.
Last year, 39,874 Karnataka students took loans to cover the cost of their education, says the SLBC.