Special Correspondent

KADAPA: The Central government waived loans of farmers to the tune of Rs. 71,000 crore, to ryots who secured bank loans faced difficulties due to crop failures, Collector M.T. Krishna Babu said on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was disbursing loans on ‘pavala vaddi’ to various sections in the State in an unprecedented manner, he said in a loan waiver mela in Proddatur market yard. He exhorted farmers to promptly repay bank loans so that other needy beneficiaries could be assisted. If farmers did not repay loans on time, it would weaken the banking sector, he said. Farmers who promptly repaid loans would be given an incentive of Rs. 5,000.

Crop insurance of Rs. 156 crore was sanctioned for groundnut crop for 2005-06 benefiting 14,000 farmers. Small farmers can pay a premium of Rs. 58 by July end and become eligible for crop insurance of Rs. 1,800, he assured. Farmers could repay their loans up to August end, he said.

Stressing on dairy development, he said 17 bulk milk chilling units were set up in the district as part of the Government’s decision to establish 36 units. The remaining 19 units would be set up by December end. Loans were sanctioned for purchase of 7,000 milch cattle. Kadapa district was producing 1.50 lakh litres of milk as against eight lakh litres in neighbouring Chittoor district.

Steps were taken to supply 36,000 quintals of groundnut seed and more quantities would be procured depending on the need, the Collector said. Fertilisers were ready for distribution on subsidy, he said. Proddatur MLA N. Varadarajulu Reddy, market committee chairman A. Ramamohan Reddy, ZPTC member A. Maheswara Reddy, tahsildar Vinayakam, MPDO Usha Rani, agricultural officers and farmers participated.