Vijayawada, Aug 9: Andhra Pradesh government released a sum of Rs 11,000 crore in the last two years towards redemption of farmers' debt but banks are not cooperating in effective implementation of the loan waiver scheme, state Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said today.
Briefing reporters at the end of a meeting of Cabinet sub-committee on the debt redemption scheme, he said the state government kept its word on debt redemption despite the severe financial problems it was facing.
"The government is in hardship, the farmers are in hardship. Yet, we paid over Rs 11,000 crore in the last two years to relieve farmers of their debt burden. We have to release another Rs 9,000 crore which will be done next year," he said.
Ahead of the 2014 elections, TDP promised waiver of all crop loans and the government calculated the amount to be around Rs 24,000 crore to be cleared over five years. "We have extended this to horticulture farmers as well though we did not promise it in our election manifesto. We have issued necessary debt redemption certificates almost to all farmers and some 5,000 are pending. We will clear them as well," Ramakrishnudu said.
He, however, expressed displeasure over the stance of banks, saying they are "delaying" extension of benefits to farmers "on one pretext or the other".
"This is not right. The bankers should cooperate with the government as we are implementing the scheme despite being in (financial) troubles. Banks should start paying the farmers who submitted their debt redemption certificates," he said. Agriculture Minister P Pulla Rao and Special Chief Secretary T Vijay Kumar, among others, attended the meeting.