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Updated: December 22, 2010 02:41 IST

Manmohan releases Rs.400 crore for A.P.

J. Balaji
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A farmer displays damaged paddy crops in Prakasam district. The Centre on Tuesday announced a relief package of Rs. 400 crore to provide succour to rain-hit farmers in Andhra Pradesh.
The Hindu A farmer displays damaged paddy crops in Prakasam district. The Centre on Tuesday announced a relief package of Rs. 400 crore to provide succour to rain-hit farmers in Andhra Pradesh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday released Rs.400 crore for the Andhra Pradesh government as advance from the National Calamity Contingency Fund to take up immediate relief and rehabilitation measures in the State that were affected by unprecedented rains and cyclonic storms in the last few months.

Dr. Singh told a delegation of over 20 Congress MPs that the Centre would take speedy action on the reports of the Central team that toured the State last week to assess the damage caused to the crops and other properties. Additional relief could be provided based on the Central team's assessment.

The delegation was led by Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy.

The Prime Minister told the delegates that he would direct all Union Ministers to take expeditious action on the issues raised by the MPs in their joint memorandum.

Earlier, the delegation — which included Minister of State for Textiles Panabaka Lakshmi and Minister of State for Steel A. Sai Pratap — asked Dr. Singh to announce a package to help the farmers who lost their produce like paddy, cotton, tobacco, red gram and chilly. Some even committed suicide unable to bear the debt due to the crop losses.

The delegation wanted the Centre to provide relief to the ryots by opening paddy centres, purchasing cotton, waiving the interest on crop loans and rescheduling the existing loans.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had met Dr. Singh a few days ago and sought assistance.

The announcement on the release of Rs.400 crore comes, even as Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy are undertaking fasts separately to highlight the plight of the farmers.

The delegates also met Union Ministers Sharad Pawar (Agriculture), Anand Sharma (Commerce) and Dayanidhi Maran (Textiles) and apprised them of the need to take immediate action to help the farmers.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader M. Venkiah Naidu, who is also a member of the Tobacco Board, told journalists that the Board, to help the tobacco farmers in A.P., had taken decisions, among other things, to recommend the payment of Rs.10,000 per hectare as relief for crop damage, waive the interest on crop loans, and reschedule existing agriculture loans.

Absolutely well commented by Mr Vijayakumar! Any senior official, under whom something goes wrong in any deptt, is held accountable and it goes against him in his ACR, possibly denying him/her promotions; and if the issue is serious, he may face disciplinary action. But what about the PM! He is the head of the Govt, and the cabinet, also chosen by him, is supposed to work under & in collaboration with him. The "buck" of accountability stops at the door of the PM. In regard to the dole to AP farmers, it has only happened now, because of Jagan's separation, pressure by Congress MP's, and as a prop to the new CM of AP. If the interest of the farmers was at the heart of the PM, it should have happened months earlier; and something similar should also have happened for Maharashtra farmers when they were committing suicides? It is all politicking and diversionary tactics to take off attention from the corruption scams.It is time for this UPA-II to go, and for Mid-Term Polls!

from:  S N Bhatia
Posted on: Dec 23, 2010 at 17:04 IST

When a large sum of money is released to help the farmers in Andhra Pradesh, the media treats it almost as a personal gift from the Prime Minister. When the prices of onion goes up through the ceiling, nay through the very sky, the PM is considered to have done his duty if he merely asks the Ministers concerned to do the needful to bring down the prices. When there are any wrong doings (acts of omission and commission} by the Central Government which the PM heads, the media puts all the blame on the Ministers concerned (the "tainted" ones according to the media) and the Prime Minister is spared of even a mild criticism. The media forgets that the PM is the Chief Executive of the Government,the Ministers are his own appointees and that if he resigns for some reason, the entire cabinet goes out with him. The media with its covert and overt support to the PM, come what may, is not doing the right thing by the people of this country.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Dec 22, 2010 at 12:57 IST
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