HYDERABAD: Amidst mounting criticism from the opposition parties over the spate of farmers’ suicides in Telangana, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and agriculture minister P Srinivas Reddy dropped enough hints that the government may announce a one-time loan waiver to help the beleaguered farmers. Also the government is mulling to extend the enhanced ex gratia of `5 lakh to the kin of all farmers, who ended their lives after June 2, 2014.
Call it a masterstroke by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the proactive approach of the ruling party evoked good response from the opposition and the Assembly saw some constructive discussions on the need to support the farmers, who are under stress due to failure of crops for the second consecutive year.
Agriculture minister P Srinivas Reddy, who read out a statement on the floor of the House, dropped enough hints about what is in store for Wednesday when the debate will continue.
The government had implemented the decision to enhance the ex gratia for farmers’ kin from `1 lakh to `5 lakh with prospective effect, on September 19. As opposition clamoured for ex gratia with retrospective effect, Srinivas Reddy said, “The government is proposing to grant the enhanced ex gratia to all suicide deaths approved by the committee with effect from June 2, 2014”.
He added the government will consider the demand to release the remaining 50 per cent amount for the crop loan waiver in one go. Also, the government may enact a stringent legislation to keep a check on illegal money lending and to rein in rogue loan sharks who drive farmers to suicide.
Meanwhile, the House witnessed some curious moments as minister KT Rama Rao had a fiery exchange with MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi. The debate will continue on Wednesday and the question hour has been suspended.