Telangana Congress today attacked the TRS government for allegedly not releasing third instalment of Rs. 4,000 crore of the loan waiver scheme to the farmers, leaving them at the mercy of private lenders as banks have stopped giving them loans.
Telangana PCC President N Uttam Kumar Reddy said the amount was supposed to be released in March as part of the government’s commitment to waive off Rs. 4,000 crore annually for four years to implement the Rs. 17,000 crore scheme, but has not done it so far.
“Farmers expecting that the government will pay, have not paid the banks; now the banks are not lending to farmers in rural areas in Telangana. So, the farmers are at the mercy of private money lenders who charge as high 36 to 48 per cent interest per annum, and its a precarious situation,” he said.
Farmers had borrowed from private money lenders, and they are in distress now following crop loss due to the recent heavy rains, he said.
“It has affected 37 lakh farmers whose ‘pattadar’ passbooks are with the banks. Three lakh women farmers had mortgaged their gold with the banks,” Mr Reddy claimed.
“Moot point is while this government is paying water grid and irrigation contractors to the tune of Rs. 2,000 crore a month, they are not able to honour their commitment of Rs. 4,000 crore this fiscal for farmers, for loan waiver,” he said.
Mr Reddy, who visited Mahbubnagar yesterday and is scheduled to tour other districts, alleged that heavy rains led to crop damage on lakhs of acres but the government has “shockingly” not taken up enumeration to assess the loss.
As much as 90 per cent of Maize crop in Mahbubnagar district is “completely wiped out”, he claimed.
He alleged that input subsidy of almost Rs. 800 crore given by the Centre earlier for distressed farmers of Telangana had been “diverted” by the state government.
Mr Reddy also said the Centre last year released Rs. 790 crore after the Telangana government sent a report to it assessing the loss to agricultural and horticultura crops following drought and cyclone effect at Rs. 3,000 crore but “not even a single rupee has been paid to farmers”.