ANDHRA PRADESH

State to waive weavers' loans

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The government on Monday decided to waive the loans taken by weavers' societies in the State from cooperative banks of APCOB and commercial banks to liberate them from indebtedness once and for all and facilitate continuance of their artisan activity. The waiver will be applicable to both - principal amount and interest.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet sub-committee constituted by the government on the issue headed by Mines & Handlooms Minister B. Srinivas Reddy, at its meeting here on Monday after discussions with Chief Minister K. Rosaiah.

The committee has Ministers D. Prasada Rao (Revenue), M. Venkata Ramana (Technical Education) and D. K. Aruna (Small-Scale Industries) as its members. The cut-off date originally finalised for the weavers' loan waiver is March 31, 2008, but this is likely to be changed as two financial years have since passed.

Sources said the government would make a formal announcement of the waiver through a statement in the Assembly on Wednesday.

The waiver which will place an additional burden of Rs. 312 crore on the exchequer, will indirectly benefit a large number of individual wavers. This much amount has been set aside in the 2010-11 budget for weavers.