HYDERABAD: To fulfil its election promise of crop loan waiver, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)-led State government will have to pay banks around Rs 7,500 crore in the last quarter of the fiscal year (January to March).
The State also needs to disburse Rs 7,000 crore for the Rythu Bandhu scheme — a welfare programme to support farmers’ investment for two crops a year — in the last fiscal quarter.
The TRS had promised in its election manifesto to waive off a maximum of Rs 1 lakh loan for each farmer. The State government announced to waive off the loans in quarterly instalments, starting with the 2019-20 budget year.
The total number of beneficiaries was estimated to be around 40.5 lakh. The total crop loan amount was estimated to be a little over Rs 30,000 crore, which includes around Rs 2,000 crore interest amount.
The State government had allotted Rs 6,000 crore for crop loan waiver in this year’s budget. However, due to the delay in implementing the scheme, the government now also has to pay interest to the bankers.
However, farmers do not have to worry as the government has instructed bankers to issue fresh crop loans to farmers, as the government is going to pay the farm loan dues.
The TRS-led State government had waived off crop loans in 2014 through quarterly instalments. As compared to 2014, the number of farmers increased by around five lakh.
This is because the famers divided the lands among their families to get the Rythu Bima benefit.
The cut-off date for implementing the crop loan waiver is December 11, 2018, and dues till that date will be cleared by the State government on behalf of the farmers.