Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao made it clear that the Telangana Government was firm on its commitment to waive off crop loans up to Rs. 1 lakh.
Intervening during the debate on farmers suicides in State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, KCR said that the State Government already cleared over Rs. 8,300 crore towards crop loan waiver scheme. However, he admitted of some lapses in the implementation of the scheme as it involves over 36 lakh accounts.
The Chief Minister also claimed that 24 lakh farmers have already been issued MRO Certificates stating that, “Your loan is waived off”. Therefore, he said a majority of loan accounts have already been settled and the remaining too would be cleared soon. He said it was illogical on the part of opposition to demand clearance of remaining dues of nearly Rs. 9,000 crore in one take. He said that the government does not get funds in suitcases. It gets revenues on monthly or quarterly basis. Subsequently, it plans its expenditure in a similar fashion.
KCR said revenues were being mobilised from various resources. He said efforts were on to restore the Telangana’s share under FRBM to 4% from present 3.5% of 14th Finance Commission. He said 0.5% increase would fetch about Rs. 3,000 crore to Telangana. Similarly, Rs. 1,000 crore are likely to be realised through regularisation of land under GO MS No. 59.
The Chief Minister said he was not going back on his words and the government was making sincere efforts to resolve the present agrarian crisis. He blamed the previous regimes for the intensity of crisis being faced by the Telangana farmers. He said minor irrigation in Telangana was completely ignored during erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh. As a Siddipet MLA, he claimed that he himself tried in vain to get some funds for his constituency. He said that Agriculture University did not serve Telangana farmers and nearly 5,000 posts in Agriculture Department were not filled in Telangana region.
KCR said except for the irrigation projects constructed during Qutub Shahi and Nizam’s Era, not many additions were made in the irrigation sector by the Andhra rulers. He said Nizam Sagar, world’s first major irrigation project, was constructed in 1890 by the Nizams. Except for a few areas, the remaining State depended on rainfed crops. Therefore, the crops were hit whenever there were adverse natural conditions. He said that the only permanent solution for agrarian crisis is the provision of water through irrigation projects.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government was ready to reduce budget allocations for other sectors to help the agriculture sector. He said there should be comprehensive plan to resolve the issue. He admitted of delay in addressing the problem. However, he attributed the delay to bifurcation of staff and allocation of AIS officials. He also admitted that the the 2014-15 budget was unrealistic as the new government had little knowledge of economics and other procedures. He said Chattisgarh and Uttarakhand too faced similar situations for a few months after their formation.
KCR said that the State Government has started resolving the problems. Citing instances, he said that the energy crisis has been resolved for now. He also promised nine hours of power to farmers from April 2016. Further, he said three-phase power would be given to farmers from 2018. He said works on different power projects was on and they would be completed as scheduled.
Similarly, the Chief Minister claimed that the Mission Kakatiya has revived thousands of lakes and the project has received appreciation from all quarters.
KCR appealed to the farmers not to commit suicide and assured that his government would provide all required assistance to them. (INN)