Discussion on loan waiver, new capital in Andhra Pradesh Cabinet meet
Hyderabad: Discussion on farm loan waiver took centre stage during the first Cabinet meeting on Thursday at Vishakpatnam as many ministers expressed fears of a backlash from farmers due notices for loan repayment served by the bankers.
Another issue that was debated was the location of the new capital between Vijayawada and Guntur as it comprises fertile land. The ministers warned of possible resistance from farmers during land acquisition.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who asked ministers not to get tense over farm loan waiver, directed chief secretary I.Y.R. Krishna Rao and agriculture minister Prattipati Pulla Rao to talk to district collectors and ensure that farmers are not harassed with the notices by bankers.
The ministers expressed varied opinions on conditions for farm loan waiver. Some of them sought to exclude gold loans while others wanted it to be included.
Mr Naidu asked ministers to wait till June 22 for interim report on farm loan waiver. He asked officials to ensure that farmers get fresh loans from bankers.
However, the ministers told him that bankers will not give fresh loans unless the pending ones are cleared. Mr Naidu asked them to wait for 15 more days.
A minister said, “After the interim report we will meet Prime Minister and Union finance ministers and put it before them. We will seek directions to the State Level Banker Committee from centre. All collectors have been asked to ensure that the bankers do not issue the notices.”
The ministers raised the topic stating that farmers, especially in Krishna and Guntur, were served notices. It is estimated that the total farm loan waiver would cost around Rs 60,000 crore and if the rich farmers are excluded, and gold loans are not included, and term loans are removed, then the amount would come down to Rs 20,000 crore.
A minister said farmers have got the gold loan by mortgaging the mangalsutra of their wives. Naidu told ministers depending on interim report modalities will be finalized. Naidu told that he has got total clarity on the issue and farm loans will be waived as promised. It was found that the notices were prepared 40 days ago though the last date is this month end for repayment.
Regarding capital Naidu said insisted that capital should be between Vijayawada and Guntur and said that growth will be uniform in all the 13 districts and farmers will be made inclusive in growth.
Naidu told ministers that due to central location Vijayawada-Guntur has been chosen and other cities like Vishakapatnam will be developed as mega city and special packages to Rayalaseema and North Andhra will help in their development. If there is too much resistance from farmers the radius of capital zone will be decreased depending on the situation.
CM Naidu also told ministers not to appoint relatives personal assistants and asked them to be careful regarding appointment of personal secretaries. He gave them instructions regarding moral code of conduct. Naidu told ministers that some his concepts he implemented during his previous regime like good governance, transparency are now followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources said Naidu has changed his style of functioning and asked ministers to freely express their opinions. Naidu is also planning for issuing progress reports on governance in regular intervals.