Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government is toying with various options, including the waiver of Rs1.5 lakh loans for each family in keeping with its poll promise. In the first instalment, the state government will pay half of the amount, Rs 75,000, to the banks and the rest of the amount if it exists, the farmers have to pay the banks to get fresh loans.
The state government will pay the remaining 50 per cent in the second instalment. The ministers think this will ensure some relief to the farmers as well as the government. According to sources, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu proposed to waive Rs 1 lakh for each farmer’s family, but many ministers said that in contrast to the Telangana government which had decided to waive the Rs 1 lakh crop loan to each family, the TD had promised to waive the farm loans without mentioning any amount, and they feel that the AP government should waive Rs 1.5 lakh for each family.
They also suggested that the government should pay the amount in two instalments to the banks. If the Reserve Bank of India does not agree to reschedule the loans the banks will not give fresh loans to the farmers unless they clear their dues.
Some senior ministers suggested to the Chief Minister that to win the confidence of farmers and the public, the government should pay the banks half of the amount in the first instalment.
According to official estimates, each farmer will take Rs 25,000 loan per acre and most farmers have less than six acres.
If the farmers have taken crop loan of around Rs 1 lakh, the government will pay the banks Rs 75,000 and the remaining Rs 25,000, the farmers have to pay the banks. In the second instalment the government will pay Rs 75,000 to the banks.
If a farmer takes Rs 75,000 as crop loan in the present Kharif season there will be no need to pay the banks. The government will not decide a deadline for farm loan waiver and also will not mention gold loans separately. Whether it is crop loan or gold loan the government will waive Rs 1.5 lakh. Official sources said if the government decides to waive Rs 1.5 lakh loan it will cost the exchequer around Rs 30,000 crore.
Meanwhile the state government is considering various options to generate revenue for the exchequer. The Chief Minister proposed to mortgage government lands to banks to get money. But the Deputy Chief Minister and Revenue Minister, K.E. Krishna Murthy said that the proposal of mortgage of government lands to banks is not possible. He said that the government is considering various options on waiver of farmer’s loans.
Speaking to this newspaper he said, to garner the confidence of farmers the government has to pay at least half the amount. He said to generate additional revenue the government is planning to come to an agreement with farmers to develop their lands.
To acquire lands for the capital city the government will come to an agreement with farmers or private land owners on a 60:40 ratio. If the government acquires 1,000 acres of land it will develop it with all infrastructure facilities like water, power, and roads among others. After developing the land the government can handover 400 acres to the farmers and they can sell it at a higher price.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that the government is thinking of implementing the same scheme in other parts of the state, particularly around major cities and towns. This will benefit the government and the farmers.