Centre planning to provide Rs 15,000 as grant to farmers

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Hyderabad, Feb 19 (UNI) The Centre is considering to provide a grant of Rs 15,000 to about 10.50 crore small and marginal farmers, saddled with debt amounting from Rs 60,000 crore to Rs 65,000 crore, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy informed the State Assembly today.

During a debate on the motion of thanks for the Governor's address, the Chief Minister said this was likely to cost the national exchequer Rs 1,50,000 crore.

He was against the writing off of the bad debts of the farmers as it amounted to encouraging fiscal indiscipline.

The grant would be provided in three instalments in three years to reduce their debt burden, he informed the House, while giving the details of his informal talks with leaders at the Centre.

Noting that even this would not solve the problems of tenant farmers, who had no title over the land which they were cultivating, he felt that subsidy component should be credited to all farmers, including the tenants.

The Centre was also considering to hike the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy and other crops during the Khariff season, he said blaming the TDP for the widening disparity between the MSPs of wheat and paddy.

The State Government would provide credit to farmers at three per cent interest rate, he said.

UNI SM VA LPB DB1828

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