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N. Uttam Kumar Reddy
N. Uttam Kumar Reddy

Uttam writes to KCR seeking release of input subsidy to farmers

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Monday asked Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao to release the input subsidy to farmers.

In an open letter to the Chief Minister, Uttam Kumar Reddy reminded following a discussion in the State Legislative Assembly on December 21, 2016, the Chief Minister himself had assured that the input subsidy of Rs. 711 crore, given by the Central Government, would be released “in a day or two”.

However, he said that the assurance was yet to be honoured. Therefore, he demanded that the State Government release the input subsidy on immediate basis.

“The State Government is yet to release Rs. 711 crores of input subsidy released by the Central Government to compensate for the damage suffered by farmers due to natural calamities in 2015. This release is far below the request made by the Government of Telangana.

We feel Government of Telangana has not done a complete assessment. Thus, this input subsidy is most probably well below 70% of the damage suffered by the farmers, in the related period. Subsequently, Telangana farmers have suffered other damages due to unnatural rains, bad quality seeds and demonetization to name a few.

On the other hand, East of Rangareddy, South of Nalgonda and North-east Mahbubnagar are facing drought conditions, with low rainfall and abysmal groundwater levels. Most probably, some 200 mandals reflect such conditions. They would require some financial support immediately,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said.

The TPCC chief said that from an honest assessment of Rs. 5,000 crore worth relief requirement, the Central Government has approved only Rs. 989 crores. “Telangana farmers are yet to receive this relief. Without such relief, and the damage caused by September floods, farmers are in deep financial trouble.

Farmers and rural distraught is increasingly becoming exponential without proper, appropriate and consultative relief procedures and disbursal,” he said.

“Because the relief has been slow, or meager, farmers indebtedness to banks continues, which precluded access to and availability of fresh loans. This led to dependence on private loans, with exorbitantly high interest rates.

Since they could not get institutional loans, they could not get the benefit of becoming beneficiaries of the reformed crop insurance policy announced by the Prime Minister.

This made them vulnerable to financial losses in the face of natural disasters,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the farmers in Telangana, across districts, have been facing alternate events of natural disasters for more than two years. As a result, the damage to their individual economy and agriculture has to be viewed cumulatively, and not just from the rainfall pattern in this season.

In the last two kharif seasons, cotton farmers have been facing virulent attacks from pink bollworm. State government does not have any action plan to protect farmers, financially or technically.

Loss is on farmers and the cycle of distress adding to distress is closing on the individual economies, he said.

“This kharif season, farmers who were impacted by unseasonal rains, dry spells, and financial rough weathers, were caught in the spiral of distress by fake, or sub-standard seeds.

Starting with lack of germination to low fruit formation, different farmers faced the wrath of these spurious seeds causing them immense losses,” he said while urging the State Government to take necessary measures on a war footing basis. (INN)

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