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Congress slams KCR for skipping farmers’ issues in cabinet meet

Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has strongly condemned the State Cabinet for skipping discussion on the farmers’ issues, including the suicides.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Thursday, Shabbir Ali said people, especially farmers, had lot of expectations from the State Cabinet, which met after a gap over three months. However, the Cabinet completely avoided the farmers’ issues although, about a few hours before the cabinet meeting, Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy addressed the media admitting that 409 farmers have committed suicide since TRS Government took over. He said that the cabinet should have increased the compensation amount, as per GO 421, from present Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh. It should have announced a special package for drought hit farmers and approved short-term crop loans. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao came up with same old rhetoric based on tall claims and fake promises.

Shabbir Ali said till a week ago, the Agriculture Minister was contending that figure of farmers suicides were below 100. However, he came halfway and admitted of 409 suicides. He is still negating the figures furnished by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which placed Telangana on second position with over 1,000 suicides.

Welcoming the State Government’s decision to scrap the proposal of introduction of cheap liquor, Shabbir Ali described it as a victory of Congress and other opposition parties and the people of Telangana. He said KCR has become habitual of making new announcements and take them back once they turn into controversy. Citing examples, he said the decisions on FAST, OU land, OGH shifting, etc., met the same fate.

Shabbir Ali ridiculed KCR for announcing that his government would spend Rs. 81,000 crore on irrigation in the next three years. He said that the government should issue a White Paper on the State’s financial position specifying the sources of revenue and expenditure plans. At one side government is announcing plans for huge spending. On the other side, it is striving hard to get loans. He pointed out that the State Government recently wrote to NITI Ayog seeking permission to borrow more loans under FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management). While stating that the State’s finances were in healthy condition, Finance Minister Etala Rajender disclosed that government was seeking loans from World Bank. He said that the government should release a White Paper to give a clear picture on the issue. (NSS)