Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said that he was committed to take farmers out of debt trap by waiving loans and promised a separate budget up to Rs. 4,000 crore for agriculture to make it profitable.
Replying to the debate on motion of thanks to the Governor’s address in the Assembly, Mr. Naidu said that it would take 15 days to one month to implement all the election promises of Telugu Desam as the Andhra Pradesh government was not fully operational with officers not yet being allotted to the new State after bifurcation. He would strive to rid the State of poverty.
“Happiness will become the fourth indicator to judge the performance of the State after social, economic and political indices. I will do everything to make AP happy,” he remarked.
To a clarification sought by Leader of Opposition Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy about when Mr. Naidu proposed to waive crop loans, the latter replied: “You give me your illegal wealth, I will immediately waive the loans.” Mr. Jagan said he doubted the commitment of the government on the issue as it often maintained that everything depended on the cooperation extended by the Reserve Bank of India and the Centre.
The Chief Minister appealed to the Telangana government not to oppose the Polavaram project as it would, in a way, create a level playing field for development of both the States. He said he would visit New Delhi on Wednesday to take up with the Centre the issue of special package for Andhra Pradesh and other compensatory measures.
On the power front, Mr. Naidu said the State fell short of demand by 18 per cent while the national average was only four per cent. The power situation would take some time to streamline, but the government would fulfil its promise of nine-hour supply to agriculture and 24 hours to industry.
The reply by Mr. Naidu was obstructed by the main Opposition YSR Congress on a couple of occasions when he identified the party with Congress which, he said, swindled public money after imposing taxes. Mr. Jagan said it was the TDP that saved the Congress government in the last Assembly by issuing a whip to its members to abstain when the no-confidence motion was taken up against the ruling party.