BJP didn’t provide funds for loan waiver of Andhra farmers: Naidu

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday trained his guns at the BJP-led central government, accusing them of not providing adequate funds for loan waiver of the farmers in the state despite repeated requests.

Speaking after the release of a white paper on ‘farmer welfare’ here, Naidu said: “After we came to power in 2014, we took up initiatives for the welfare of the farmers. I thought to give a loan waiver. I appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce it publicly in our joint public meeting. But he denied claiming that he would be compelled to announce the loan waiver across the country. The Centre denied providing funds for loan waiver. The state has no funds in hand. But we are committed to waive loans for the farmers.”

Talking about the agriculture sector which was in a bad shape after he took office, Naidu said that when agriculture is developed, purchasing power will increase and other sectors will also witness a similar growth.

“While coastal regions were suffering from floods and cyclones, Rayalaseema region was suffering from drought and desertification. Now we have changed the course of agriculture in the state,” Naidu said.

The TDP supremo further said that suicide rates have gone down since his government came to power, adding that Rs 5 lakh is being given as compensation to families of the deceased farmers.

“Andhra Pradesh is the only government that could double the income of farmers. The state recorded more than 11 per cent growth rate in agriculture. We set up seven missions and five grids for the overall development of the state’s agriculture. Although there has been deficit rainfall in the last five years, we managed to complete many irrigation projects,” Naidu elaborated.

He further said that Rs 19,070 crore has been earmarked for separate agriculture budget this year, adding that his government has been giving soil health cards and supplying adequate micronutrients to the farmers.

Elaborating further on his pro-farmer policies, Naidu said: “More than 4,000 extension officers are working for the welfare of farmers. We are distributing quality seeds to the farmers. We are setting up a mega seed park at Tangadancha in Kurnool district in association with Iowa University in the USA.

We gave Rs 9,411 crore to 25 lakh tenant farmers. We are also giving Rs. 25,000 as compensation to those whose crops have been destroyed. We are giving affordable MRPs on various agri-products compared to what Centre is giving. We are effectively using e-NAM in markets.”

He asserted that inflation has drastically reduced in Andhra Pradesh in the last three months and is below than the national average.

“Our aim is to provide water to 2 crore acres. For that, we have to conserve water through farm ponds. Our aim is to take up micro-irrigation in one crore acres. As of now, we have achieved 35 lakh acres,” Naidu said.

Accusing the central government of not giving adequate MSPs to different types of crops, Naidu said that the government is supposed to procure 40 per cent of yield but is procuring 25 per cent only.

He further added that the BJP has failed to address farmers’ issues and agitation against them will be staged by the TDP soon.