Jagan attacks previous Naidu govt on farmer welfare, announces ‘interest-free’ farm loan

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Thursday accused the previous TDP government of ignoring the welfare of farmers and cheating them by not paying subsidy amounting to over Rs 2,000 crore for seeds, fertilizers and other agriculture-related expenses.

Reddy said that N Chandrababu Naidu-led government did not pay even a single penny for farmers who lost their crops due to bad weather.

Speaking in the Assembly, he said, “Situation was so worst that the Chandrababu Naidu government did not even procure seeds. Seed procurement should start in November and complete by April. By the time our government came to power, the seed distribution should have started, but only 50 quintals of seeds are available. The earlier government did not pay input subsidy amounting over Rs 2000 crores, we will soon clear it.”

He announced to increase milk rate by Rs 4 per litre for dairy farmers.

Continuing his tirade against the previous government, he said: “The then government did not think of farm loan rescheduling and waiving off the interests. Before elections, they promised to waive Rs 87,612 crores farm loans which did not materialize.”

Jagan promised to take appropriate measures to resolve the farm issues.

The Chief Minister also promised to waive off interest if farmers repay loans in stipulated time. “This decision will protect the farmers from lenders,” he said.

Listing his government’s initiatives taken for farmers’ welfare, he said: “Our government is providing 9 hours power in a day for farmers in 60 per cent of feeders. By next June, that will become 9 hours power in the day time in 40 per cent of feeders. We are spending Rs 1,700 crores for power supply for 9 hours.”

He said that his government has brought YSR Free Crop Insurance Scheme for the farmers. “We are setting up a price stabilization fund with Rs 3000 crore. We are going to release Rs 80 crore for additional support price for oil palm farmers. That will benefit 1.1 lakh farmers,” he added.

Jagan also announced to give Rs 7 lakh to the families of the farmers who committed suicide.

The Budget session saw ruckus over the announcement of an interest-free loan to farmers, with TDP terming the scheme as old.

“It was started by earlier Congress government and the TDP government continued it when it came to power in 2014,” TDP MLA Rama Naidu said.

Contending this claims, Legislative Affairs minister Buggana Rajendranath said that the scheme was not in place since 2014.

Addressing the House, Opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu said that “everyone should speak in a dignified manner”.

“Everybody will have their own policies when one is in power he should speak in a dignified manner. Jagan is speaking lies as per his own whims. He is not even respecting the age (Naidu). It is fine if you want to give interest-free loans, but make no wrong comments on TDP regime,” he said.