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Bankers trying to show govt in bad light on farmers’ welfare: Chandrababu

Expressing anguish over the spurt in the number of farmers’ suicides in Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has said the adamant bankers were trying to show the government in bad light despite it extending Debt Redemption Scheme and making capital infusion for the welfare of farmers in the State.

Addressing the 191st meeting of the SLBC of Andhra Pradesh held at Vijayawada, Chandrababu said Andhra Pradesh cannot have farmer suicides. “We need to be sensitive to their problems. Lack of viability of commercial crops, defunct pump sets are some of the main reasons. We need to bring down debts and for this, we need cooperation of bankers. Every farmer should be able to carry out agriculture without debts,” he added. “Crop insurance has become a major problem in the State. Despite farmers paying premiums, they are not able to insure their crops. Hence, we need to prepare a vulnerability index and sort out issues district-wise,” the Chief Minister explained.

The Chief Minister also expressed his dissatisfaction with bankers lagging in technological advancement. He sought information on how many banks do not have Core Banking Solutions and why they have not been able to digitise their data completely. At this juncture, the Chief Minister directed all banks to make Intra-operability facility available in the state within 3 months, before the next SLBC meeting. Bankers are also instructed to link all welfare schemes to RuPay card. “The state government’s departments data will be online. Taking help of this data, you can roll out money for welfare schemes,” he said.

While rolling out MUDRA loans to MSMEs, the Chief Minister asked bankers not to carry this out in isolation but work with the welfare department and sensitize customers in using the money as productive expenditure. In order to revive MSMEs in the state, the Chief Minister asked bankers to prepare a report in a month’s time underlining the steps to boost the sector. He elaborated on the State government’s double-digit growth target, adding that the government has identified 40 growth engines to drive the growth of the economy. They include 23 from Primary Sector, 6 from Secondary Sector and 11 from Tertiary Sector, he explained

During the meeting, Minister Ravella Kishore Babu informed the Chief Minister that subsidy is being given before loans are being released. This is making customers utilize the subsidy and eventually, leading to non-payment of loans. “Hence, loans should be given before subsidy,” he added.

Responding to this, the Chief Minister said all the subsidy amount should be extended for economic activity. “All corporations like Minority, SC, ST, etc should give benefits for economic activity only,” he added. The Chief Minister also asked bankers and the government to bring DWCRA women, farmers’ groups and (SC, ST, BC and Minority) welfare beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and synchronize all these accounts with Aadhar. To save farmers from drought, the Chief Minister also suggested the SLBC to prepare a report on overcoming the dry spell and suggest solutions.Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also reviewed the status of debt redemption for farmers and asked them to sort out all issues in rolling out debt redemption. “In the next three months, I’ll tour villages and seek feedback. I want all problems to be sorted. My ultimate goal is to making agriculture a

Minister Ravella Kishore Babu, State Planning Board Vice-chairman Ch. Kutumba Rao, Principal Secretary (Finance) PV Ramesh, Principal Secretary (Industries) SS Rawat, heads of other departments as well as members of the SLBC were present.(NSS)