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Farm loan waiver scheme won’t end abruptly: KCR

Hyderabad: Rejecting demands from main Opposition Congress and others, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today said his government would not conclude the farm loan waiver scheme at one go now as 75 per cent of the waiver has already been done.

The remaining portion of the loan waiver (the last of the four instalments) would be completed in a couple of months, he said in the Legislative Assembly, speaking during a debate on agriculture, including loan waiver.

The government would have difficulties in completing the farm loan waiver as its revenues are expected to fall at least in the immediate future following the demonetization of high currency notes, he said.

Responding to the comments of main opposition Congress members that some banks have given loan waiver amount to farmers after deducting certain amounts towards interest and insurance premium, Rao said the government is ready to bear the burden.

Expressing dissatisfaction over Rao’s reply, the Congress staged walk out of the Assembly in protest. Recalling that the state government has taken several steps for farmers’ welfare, including input subsidy, the Chief Minister said the protest of the Congress members was a “political walkout”.

On revival of Nizam Sugars factory at Nizamabad, a major demand of Opposition, Rao said the government made all attempts to revive the plant and the government is still ready to reopen the factory if the farmers are ready to run it.

Alleging that the Congress government did not revive Nizam Sugars factory though it was in power for 10 years (from 2004-14), he said his government would make the factory ready for operations if the farmers came forward to run it.

Making a statement at the beginning of the debate, Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy said the government has taken several measures for farmers’ welfare.

The steps include soil testing, strengthening of administration in agriculture department, farm mechanization, release of Rs 12,105.16 crore towards crop loan waiver, release of Rs 82186.45 lakh towards input subsidy, supply of seeds on subsidy, action on spurious seeds, supply of fertiisers and crop insurance scheme, the statement said.

PTI