Vijayawada: The YSR Congress alleged on Thursday that the Opposition Telugu Desam party was showing false love towards farmers, while the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led present government was doing a lot for this segment of the population.
Adviser to the government on public affairs Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said the YSRC government, among other things, cleared the pending dues to farmers that were left behind by the previous Chandrababu Naidu government.
Rubbishing a letter from Naidu to the CM on farmers, Ramakrishna Reddy said the letter was filled with false allegations against the state government. “TD leaders have no moral right to speak on farmers' issues as they had left behind a debt of Rs 960 crore towards crop procurement,” he said at a press conference here.
He said the farmers have not yet forgotten the “dark days” of TD rule, but Jagan’s governance has “instilled confidence” among farmers.
Drawing comparison between the TD and the YSRC governments’ crop procurement policies, Ramakrishna Reddy said hardly 18 lakh tonnes was procured by the TD government during 2014-15. In 2018-19, it was 20.5 lakh tonnes, procured at a cost of Rs 4,800 crore and leaving behind an arrears of nearly Rs 1,000 crore.
Under the direction of Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2019-20, nearly 34.74 lakh tonnes of crop was procured by paying farmers Rs 6,331 crore. In 2020-21, so far, over 25 lakh tonnes was procured by paying farmers Rs 4,728 crore and “We shall complete the targeted procurement of 45 lakh tonnes for the year,” he said.
Speaking on minimum support price (MSP), Ramakrishna Reddy said the main idea is to safeguard the farmers’ interest and ensure they do not suffer loss. It is not mandatory for farmers to sell their crops to the government. They can sell their crops to whoever is paying a higher price. The government’s job is to ensure that farmers get properly paid, he said.
He stated the YSRC government included tenant farmers under e-cropping. They had been left out of the scheme during the TD term. Currently, the procurement is taking place at village level right at the farm gate and the government's goal is to stand by the farmers from ‘seed to sale’, he said.
As for property tax, Ramakrishna Reddy said the TD is unnecessarily criticising the state government out of sheer jealousy. “Under the FRBM Act, the state is implementing the rules of the central government as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. The additional revenue to the government by way of the upgraded property tax policy is only Rs 186 crore. No property owner is making a fuss, but the TD and the BJP are.”
Speaking on the arrears to the state from the Centre, he said the BJP can take credit by helping the state get the Rs 3,300 crore....