New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajshekhara Reddy today urged the Centre to continue the Prime Minister's special package for the farmers as their distress sometimes resulting in tragic suicides continue to dot the national landscape.
Speaking at the National Development Council (NDC) meeting, Mr Reddy said credit flow to farmers had doubled during last three years. However, due to erratic monsoon and uncertain markets, the overhang of debt burden had also gone up considerably.
Private money lending with usually high rates of interest only compounds the problem.
Andhra Pradesh government had come out with a novel package more than three years ago. It addressed the then acute problem boldly.
''I feel vindicated as our patience and preservance surely decimated the suicidal levels within a couple of years. I congratulate the Prime Minister to have confronted the problem boldly and come out with the Special Package. It must continue in the foreseeable future - as the challenge though reduced, continues to persist,'' he said.
Supporting the broad approach as indicated the plan document, the Chief Minister said in his state the economy was doing quite well in a few enclaves like infrastructure and IT sector. However, agriculture sector, especially during drought years continued to border on crisis impacting the entire rural population adversely.
If not corrected, it would not only undermine planned economic growth, but afflict our equitous socio demographic development which is so very essential for an inclusive democratic polity, he said.
The Chief Minister was hopeful that the state would achieve 9.5 per cent annual growth in overall economy during the eleventh plan.