KCR goes to polls with most promises fulfilled
DECCAN CHRONICLE | L. Venkat Ram Reddy
Hyderabad: After freeing 16 lakh farmers from debt, by waiving loans up to Rs 99,999 through release of Rs 5,809 crore, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar will now take to the electorate from August 23 with the credibility of fulfilling major promises as his major poll plank for this year’s Assembly election.
Farmers, for their part, said that the Chief Minister has fulfilled the BRS slogan of ‘Ab ki baar, kisan sarkar (This time, it is pro-farmer governance)’ as they started to receive notifications from banks on Wednesday, of loans being cleared.
They also called on the Chief Minister to take his "revolutionary pro-farmer policies" to the entire country after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
While Rao already holds the record of being the only Chief Minister in the country to extend Rs 10,000 per acre per year to farmers under the Rythu Bandhu scheme, for 70 lakh farmers irrespective of land extent, Rs 5 lakh free insurance under Rythu Bima, 24-hour free power to agriculture and free irrigation water to over one crore acres, he can now also add making farmers debt-free as another feather to his hat.
The Telangana state government has spent the highest in the country on a crop loan waiver scheme. Soon after assuming charge as the Chief Minister for the first term in June 2014, Rao waived off loans up to Rs 1 lakh of 35.31 lakh farmers by spending Rs 16,144 crore.
In his second term in office, from December 2018, Rao waived loans of 16.22 lakh farmers by spending Rs 7,753 crore, so far.
Rao has decided to waive off the loans amounting to Rs 13,000 crore of farmers who owe loans of more than Rs 1 lakh each by September 15. For them, the government will pay Rs 1 lakh and the balance amount will have to be cleared by farmers.
With this, the total amount spent by Rao on the crop loan waiver scheme will hit Rs 37,000 crore. So far, across both terms in office, Rao waived loans of 51.54 lakh farmers, allocating Rs 23,897 crore.
Telangana state is also the only state that directly buys all foodgrains from farmers for MSP. Since the formation of the state, Rs 1,33,000 crore has been spent and 722.92 lakh metric tonnes of paddy were procured. Apart from grains, other crops were purchased at a cost of Rs 11,437.55 crore.
The government is providing free electricity to agriculture for 24 hours to 27.49 lakh agricultural connections. Accordingly, Rs 32,700 crore has been spent to expand electricity infrastructure, while incurring an annual expense of Rs 10,500 crore for free electricity supply.
Under the Rythu Bandhu scheme, implemented to protect farmers from the clutches of moneylenders, Rs 10,000 per acre per year has been deposited. In the past 10 phases since 2018, Rs 65,190 crore has been deposited to farmer accounts. As part of the 11th phase, Rs 5,854.16 crore was provided to 64.49 lakh farmers this monsoon, covering about 117.08 lakh acres.
The government is also implementing Rs 5 lakh free insurance under Rythu Bima to support families of farmers who die. So far 1,08.051 farmer families have been benefitted under the Rythu Bima, with LIC paying Rs 5,402.55 crore to the kin of farmers.