HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh government yet again failed to give clarity on the modalities of its crop loan waiver scheme. Instead, what it came up with on Monday was a Farmers’ Empowerment Corporation to implement the scheme. But how? That still remains a million dollar question.
The move came on the eve of the deadline for the repayment of crop loans by the farmers. TDP MP Sujana Chowdary, who is heading the resources mobilisation committee, after a five-hour marathon meeting
between Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and the bankers here this evening, said, “The government has decided to issue bonds to farmers from the corporation to waive crop loans.”
The first instalment would be paid only after “Janma Bhoomi- Mana Vooru” programme on October 15, he said. The first instalment is to be paid by Sept 30, failing which the loans would be declared ‘non-performing assets and the farmers would lose insurance cover. Apart from this, they might also not get fresh loans.
Asked about this, the MP replied they had requested the bankers to extend the deadline for another fortnight. “The bankers told us they would form a sub-committee among themselves and come up with a final decision over our proposals by Tuesday,” he said.
According to Sujana Chowdaray, the corporation’s bonds will have a lock-in period of up to one year and fetch 10% interest after maturity. If any farmer wants to encash the bond before that period, they will be given the amount but minus interest.
“The government has already earmarked `5,000 crore for the loan waiver in the first phase. Another `2,000 crore is being arranged. Further resources would be procured through mining and securitisation of government lands after January,” the MP explained.