‘A proposal to be sent to the Centre to consider waiver of agricultural loans of Rs. 72,000 crore’

Crop loans in rain-affected areas will be rescheduled without interest after consultation with bankers and a proposal will be sent to the Centre to consider waiver of agricultural loans of Rs.72,000 crore, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday evening after a visit to the rain-affected areas, he said officials would also be asked not to adjust input subsidy against any crop loans pending. He said the loss was still being estimated it would take some time for all the details to come in.

Towards drought or flood relief a total of Rs.6,000 crore had been sanctioned to farmers during the last three years of which only about 25 per cent came from the Centre and remaining was borne by the State Government. For paddy the amount was raised from Rs.4,900 a ha to Rs.10,000 and proportionately it was increased to the other crops as well.

Mr. Kiran Kumara Reddy said there could be some delay in opening of accounts since online disbursal came into force only a year ago. Even then Rs.1,500 crore of Rs.1,800 crore was credited to farmers’ accounts. On all the farmers not receiving amounts for loss suffered in Nilam cyclone, he asked whether there was any instance of farmers receiving it in the same year. Permanent measures to prevent floods for three rivers in the district had been sent from the district to Hyderabad but were held up in the Finance Ministry and would be taken up.

Of the Rs.33 crore due for Nilam cyclone, Rs.23 crore was released and Rs.10 crore distributed and the remaining would be given in the next week, ten days.

He said for 10 villages water was still being transported. The district administration had evacuated 30,000 people.

The Chief Minister decline to talk about the move to call for an all-party meeting by the Centre on the bifurcation of the State stating the visit was mainly to take stock of the rain damage.

Minister for Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao, MP T Subbarami Reddy, Government Whip Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao, MLAs Ch Venkatramaiah, Muttamsetty Srinivasa Rao and Malla Vijay Prasad were present.