Hyderabad: Farmers in Telangana State have a lot to cheer about these days. After announcing that the entire paddy produce would be picked up literally from their doorsteps, the State government has now begun the process for implementation of the second installment of crop loan waiver as promised by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.
The State government made budgetary allocation of Rs 5,225 crore for 2021-22 for the scheme, and officials have now begun working out the modalities to ensure that maximum number of farmers benefit from the scheme.
The officials proposed to waive crop loans between Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 considering that the government had already cleared loans up to Rs 25,000 during last year. This will mean incurring an expenditure of Rs 4,900 crore that would benefit about 8.02 lakh eligible farmers. The authorities are also considering another option of waiving off an amount of Rs 25,000 from crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh excluding the farmers whose loans upto Rs 25,000 have been already waived. This model will benefit around 13.45 lakh farmers at an expenditure of Rs 5,100 crore to the State exchequer.
Official sources said the government was inclined to implement the second model which will benefit the maximum number of farmers. The officials have already prepared separate lists of farmers who will benefit from the two models and made arrangements to deposit the amount directly into the bank accounts of farmers. Besides clearing the crop loan dues, the government is also paying interest against the crop loans until they are completely paid and thus, ensuring that farmers are not burdened with the interests.
“We are awaiting the nod from the Chief Minister. As per his decision, we will issue the orders for release of funds directly into the bank accounts of farmers,” a top official told Telangana Today.
It may be recalled that during the run up to the 2018 Assembly elections, the Chief Minister announced his plans to waive off crop loans upto Rs 1 lakh taken by about 36.8 lakh farmers in the State. This was also mentioned in the TRS party manifesto and despite the Opposition parties promises to enhance the upper limit to Rs 2 lakh, people voted TRS to power. It may be recalled that Telangana was the only State in the country to successfully implement the crop loan waiver scheme in 2014-18, clearing cent per cent crop loans availed by the farmers.
Keeping up his promise, the Chief Minister waived off crop loans of about 2.96 lakh farmers who had loans upto Rs 25,000. The State government spent Rs 408 crore towards this last year .