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N. Kiran Kumar Reddy
HYDERABAD: The government announced a Rs. 910 crore package for farmers in 15 rain-hit district by enhancing the scale of relief for crops damaged over an extent of 10 lakh hectares and interest waiver of Rs. 350 crore on outstanding crop loans Rs 16,500 crore of outstanding crop loans.
For all the major crops like paddy, groundnut, onions and sugarcane and flower gardens, the compensation in the form of input subsidy has been increased from Rs. 4,500 to Rs 6,000 per hectare across the board, while the interest waiver will cover loans worth Rs. 16,500 crore, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said in the Assembly on Thursday .
In a compact 45-minute long reply to the three-day debate on the plight of rain-hit farmers, Mr Reddy admitted that he was providing ‘a limited relief' under the given circumstances but would try to enhance it later.
The crop loans of the farmers in the 483 mandals in these districts would be rescheduled and fresh loans issued.
Amid frequent interruptions by Telugu Desam members, Mr Reddy, who was aided by Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy in countering them, said more mandals are likely to be added to the list after enumeration in Khammam and Nalgonda districts.
He said the package provided for payment of Rs. 40 per bird in case of poultry farms, Rs 2,000 against a goat/sheep perished, Rs. 15,000 for milch animal, Rs 5,000 for handloom or yarn and for a set of fishing boat and net.
Dubbing the package as inadequate, Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu said he would go ahead with his plan of indefinite fast on farmers issues.
K. Chiranjeevi (Praja Rajyam), G. Mallesh (CPI), M. Ranga Reddy (CPI-M), G. Kishen Reddy (BJP) and Akabaruddin Owaisi (MIM) associated themselves with Mr. Naidu in demanding Rs. 10,000 per hectare towards crop damage, declaring the rain havoc as national calamity and payment of Rs. 200 as bonus in addition to MSP on paddy procurement.
N. Jayaprakash Narayana (LoK Satta), however, welcomed the package but cautioned the government against rampant corruption in administration, while spending the funds.
Plea to Opposition
The Chief Minister appealed to Opposition parties not to play politics on farmers' issues and to join him in sending across a message to the ryots that they would not be left alone.
Following his correspondence with the Prime Minister, he was hopeful of getting the normal MSP even for discoloured paddy, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said.
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