VIJAYAWADA: Stating that the State is facing drought situation with 48 per cent of rainfall deficit and monsoon not making its presence felt even after a month, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced Rs 1 crore to each Assembly constituency from the CM’s Development Fund for addressing drinking water issue.
In his statement on drought situation in the State Assembly on the first day of the budget session on Thursday, the Chief Minister explained the prevailing drought condition and his government’s plans — both short term and long term — to address the issue.
Stating that his government does not discriminate between caste, creed, religion, region or party, all the MLAs from the Opposition too would be provided with the fund to address the water crisis in their respective constituencies. “Steps are being taken to address the fodder shortage. Seeds for Rabi are being procured,” he explained. In case of drought, interest on crop loans will be waived and measures will be taken to provide alternate job opportunities to farmers during drought, he added.
Training his guns on the Opposition TDP, the Chief Minister said though the farmers suffered due to drought and cyclones from 2013-14, the then TDP government failed to release input subsidy worth `2,300 crore to them. In the last fiscal, estimated drought relief was put at Rs 1,838 crore and the Centre had released Rs 900 crore, but not a single paise was given to the farmers, he alleged.
Jagan also blamed the previous government for seed shortage in Kharif.
Showing the letters from the officials to the State government requesting funds for seed procurement on screen in the House, Jagan said despite several requests, funds were not released. “Further, the previous government did not pay Rs 960 crore to farmers for paddy procurement and `384 crore seed procurement dues were also not cleared,” he pointed out.
The promised loan waiver was scaled down from Rs 84,000 crore to Rs 24,000 crore and only Rs 15,000 crore was paid in three instalments, he observed.
Rythu Bharosa to be launched on October 15
Jagan said that YSR Free Crop Insurance (Rs 2,164 crore for 55 lakh farmers), YSR zero interest loans for farmers, Rs 3,000 crore price stabilisation funds, Rs 2,000 crore calamity fund will be taken up along with YSR Rythu Bharosa under which Rs 12,500 per farmer will be paid. “The scheme will be launched on October 15. It will benefit 70 lakh farmers, which is a record. Further, contract agreement between land owner and tenant farmer will be limited to 11 months. All the dues to the farmers will be cleared,” he said.