Reddy proposes input subsidy for farmers instead loan waiver

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New Delhi, Feb 4 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram to provide input subsidy of Rs 5000 each for small and medium farmers in the country for three years instead of accepting their demand to waive off loans.

Dr Reddy, who is here for meetings with the Union Government on the issue, told newspersons that he in discussions with Prime Minister and Finance Minister told them that such input subsidy would enable the farmers to put in more efforts on cultivation.

Whereas waiving off loans could have ill-effects on the banking system and would to be a disincentive to the prompt loan repayers.

He said there were about 11 crore farmers including 9.5 crore small and marginal farmers in the country and most of them did not have any access to the banking system.

Since the uniform input subsidies in the form of bank drafts, they will be forced to open their accounts and hence will be brought into the banking net.

Dr Reddy said both Dr Singh and Mr Chidambaram agreed to his suggestions and asked him to discuss the issue with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

''I will broach the issue when I meet Mr Pawar, who is presently out of station'', he said.

He also sought additional funds for Andhra Pradesh under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Progamme (AIBP) and the Finance Minister promised to consider the demand when he would finalise the Budget proposal.

The Chief Minister also met Law Minister H R Bhardwaj to discuss the appointment of the judges.

He, however, declined to give any details about his meeting with UPA chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The Chief Minister will also be meeting Congress Media Cell Chief M Veerappa Moily and External Affairs Minister Pranab Kumar Mukherjee before leaving Delhi tomorrow.

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