77.87 lakh ryots to benefit Centre's farm loan waiver

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Hyderabad, Mar 27 (UNI) Turning down the opposition demand for a House resolution to press for loan waiver for all farmers, Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy today said the Centre's loan waiver scheme would benefit about 77.87 lakh small farmers in the state.

Replying to a question from Mr Keshav and other TDP members, the Minister maintained that there was no need for a House resolution ''as the Congress-led UPA Government was itself proactive in resolving the problems of farmers.'' Farmers, who had availed loans up to March 2007 and had overdue as on December 2007 and not repaid till February 29, 2008, would be beneficiaries, he said, adding that 37.40 lakh farmers, who had availed loans from Cooperative banks would get a loan waiver of Rs 5027.44 crore.

Stating that incidence of suicide among farmers had come down from 1,169 in 2004 to 229 in 2007 in the state, he said the TDP had no moral right to speak on the issue after allegedly neglecting their welfare while in power.

''Why the previous TDP Government had not announced a loan waiver when the state faced severe drought in 2002-03, leading to drastic fall in agriculture production to 106 lakh tonne as against 169 lakh tonne in the previous year,'' he asked and said the State was all set to register a record in agriculture production of 199 lakh tonne this year.

The State Government was yet to receive detailed guidelines from the Centre on the implementation of the scheme, Mr Reddy added.


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