The main Opposition Congress party has demanded that the State government waive off loans of the farmers at one go, release input subsidy, pay compensation to victim farmers of heavy rains, open the Nizam Sugar Factory to assist sugarcane farmers and punish the managements of the seed companies, which supplied spurious Soya to the farmers.
Participating in a short discussion on ‘Modernisation of Agriculture, Loan Waiver and Payment of Input Subsidy” at Legislative Assembly here on Wednesday after the statement of Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Congress MLA Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has failed to keep his word made in the august House that he would waive off the loans of farmers at one go if the Centre agrees to enhance the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) percentage.
“Though the Centre increased the FRBM percentage from 3 percent to 3.5 percent, the Chief Minister failed to fulfill his word made in this House”, Uttam Kumar pointed out. He also asked why the Chief Minister was not kind towards the farmers? What was the State government doing while it was borrowing loans indiscriminately by mortgaging the people of the State? he posed. He also said all sections of the people, including farmers thought that their lives would be better in the new State. “Nobody is happy in the Telangana State. The agriculture sector fell in crisis”, he lamented.
Recalling the efforts of the Congress party to increase agriculture produce after attaining freedom, Uttam said the country was now in a position to export agriculture produce to over 100 countries worth Rs 1.30 lakh crore and this credit goes to Congress only.
After the TRS stormed to power in the new Telangana State, the Gross State Domestic Produce (GSDP) fell down to Rs 44,000 crore (in 2013-14) to Rs 36,000 crore (in 2015-16), he alleged. The bank loans to the farmers fell down to Rs 37,000 crore (2015) to Rs 31,000 crore in (2016), he alleged and said the banks were not listening to the word of the State government.
He also alleged that the banks were adjusting the loan waiver in a phased manner to its interest retaining the passbooks for the last three years, he alleged. The insurance companies too were not responding on the compensation to be given to the farmers’ crop losses, he said. The State government diverted the input subsidy given by the Centre, he said and asked as to why the government was not enumerating the crop loss details? The Soya farmers were incurring heavy losses due to spurious seed. The government was not sanctioning drip irrigation plants to the farmers, but giving full publicity on it, he pointed out.
The Agriculture Extension System remained very weak in the State. The State government removed Adarsha Rythu Scheme, he said and asked the government, which assured that it will open the Nizam Sugar Factory within 100 days after coming to power, to tell when it will reopen the NSF. The government has not given ex gratia to 10 percent farmers who committed suicides though 2019 farmers committed suicides. (NSS)