Telangana Cabinet Okays Rs 2 Lakh Crop Loan Waiver With Rs 31,000-Cr Spend

Revanth says waiver by Aug. 15, to benefit 40 lakh farmers

Hyderabad: The Telangana Cabinet on Friday approved a proposal to waive up to Rs 2-lakh worth of crop loans for each farmer in the state by August 15, fulfilling yet another promise made by the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections in November 2023.

Crop loans taken between December 12, 2018, and December 9, 2023, will be eligible to avail of the waiver. The government will issue guidelines on eligibility criteria for crop loan waiver through a government order (GO) soon.

According to preliminary estimates, the government needs to spend Rs 31,000 crore for the crop loan waiver and it is expected to benefit nearly 40 lakh farmers.

The Cabinet also approved setting up a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka to prepare guidelines for the implementation of Rythu Bharosa in the place of Rythu Bandhu with a deadline to submit its report by July 15. The other members are ministers Tummala Nageshwar Rao, D.Sridhar Babu, and Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy.

Addressing a press conference at the Secretariat after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy said that the Congress government will implement a crop loan waiver by August 15 as promised during the Assembly elections.

He reiterated the Congress government's commitment to the promises made in the party's Warangal Farmers' Declaration on waiving crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh. He said the same promise was incorporated in the Congress manifesto for Assembly polls.

"True to our word, we have discussed the crop loan waiver in the Cabinet and made significant decisions to benefit our farmers. The Congress policy is to make agriculture profitable, and our leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Mallikarjun Kharge, have always stood by their promises."

Revanth Reddy said the previous BRS government implemented a crop loan waiver of Rs 1 lakh twice when it came to power in 2014 and 2018.

In its first term from June 2014 to December 2018, the BRS government waived off crop loans amounting to Rs 16,000 crore with a cut-off date of March 31, 2014, and in the second term from December 2018 to December 2023, it waived off crop loans amounting to Rs 12,000 crore, with a cut-off date of December 11, 2018, the Chief Minister said.

Revanth Reddy said that the Congress government's decision will be applicable to crop loans taken between 12 December 2018 and 9 December 2023, a period that was not covered by the previous BRS government's loan waiver, which had a cutoff date of 11 December 2018.

"The previous government managed to waive loans amounting to Rs. 28,000 crores over ten years. In contrast, our government will waive around Rs. 31,000 crores within just eight months," Revanth Reddy said, adding that the move proves the government’s commitment to the welfare of our farmers.

On Rythu Bharosa, the Chief Minister said the government will “aim to implement Rythu Bharosa transparently, incorporating everyone's suggestions. We will consult all stakeholders like farmers' associations, all political parties."

He further said that the responsibility for communicating cabinet and administrative decisions has been assigned to ministers D. Sridhar Babu and Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy. "The information provided by them is the official stance of the government. Media should consider this before publishing or broadcasting any information," Reddy added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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