KAKINADA: Farmers of the two Godavari districts are agitated over state government not yet paying their dues totalling to around Rs 500 crore after procuring paddy in the last Rabi season.
The government had set up purchasing centres and procured paddy from farmers at the minimum support price (MSP) after the Rabi crop was harvested. But farmers are complaining that though more than two months have passed, the government has not yet credited amounts into their bank accounts. Because of this, they are facing financial hardships for cultivating their Kharif crops.
“We need to pay money for purchasing paddy seeds and fertilisers, apart from paying wages to agriculture labourers. But our Rabi crop money is still held up with the government. How can we these purchase anything when we do not have money,” asked Y. Srinivasa Rao, a farmer of P. Gannavaram mandal. He demanded that the government clear their arrears immediately.
Rajamahendravaram Rural MLA Gorantla Buchaiah Chowdary, Anaparti former MLA N. Ramakrishna Reddy, and TD leaders of P. Gannavaram mandal, including Dokka Nathbabu, staged a dharna in front of tahsildar’s office expressing concern over non-payment of arrears to farmers.
However, joint collector G. Lakshmisha said already more than Rs. 450 crore have been credited into bank accounts of farmers. “Remaining arrears will be cleared within one week,” he assured. He explained that in fact payments to farmers must be made within 21 days after they sell their crop at paddy purchasing centres. But to curb irregularities and mediators enrolling as farmers, government is taking up pre-audit and final audit to identify the real farmers. He said that the government’s aim is to benefit the real farmers and not mediators or others.
The joint collector said farmers need not worry about their pending amounts, as they would be credited directly into their accounts soon....