The Andhra Pradesh government is considering various options, including raising funds by issuing bonds to fulfil its commitment on farm loan waiver even as the committee appointed to work out modalities sought a week’s time to submit its report.
Meanwhile, the government is taking up with the Centre to instruct the banks to reschedule old loans and issue fresh ones to farmers for kharif season.
The nine-member committee whose convenor is former NABARD Chairman P. Kotaiah, which was scheduled to submit its interim report on Sunday, met Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu at his residence and sought more time to study and suggest various alternatives.
The committee members informed Mr. Naidu that they want to collect more data and needed to meet the Reserve Bank of India Governor, bankers, other financial institutions and Expenditure and Finance Secretaries of the Government of India, Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu told reporters. He said the Chief Minister made it clear to the members that the State government would implement the loan waiver scheme at any cost and there were no second thoughts on the issue.
Mr. Ramakrishnudu said the government would examine various options suggested by the committee after the submission of its report and ensure that maximum justice was done to farmers, including those who repaid loans. Replying to a question, he said banks have been instructed not to collect arrears and reschedule loans.
Agriculture Minister P. Pulla Rao said it was estimated that the total loans were to the tune of Rs. 87,612 crore, including Rs.13,500 crore DWCRA loans. He said in case there were two loans - agricultural and gold in a household, it would be ensured that the family got at least one benefit. However, preference would be given to waiving gold loan.
Vice-Chairman of the State Planning Board, Kutumba Rao, who is member of the committee to work out modalities for crop loan waiver, said the panel was examining eight options to provide relief to farmers. Right from rescheduling loans to raising bonds, various alternatives were being examined. In case the norms were not adequately relaxed under Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, some limit would have to be set.