AP hit by 48.3 pc deficit rainfall: CM

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Amaravati: A 48.3 per cent deficit rainfall during the ongoing Kharif season has pushed agricultural operations in Andhra Pradesh into jeopardy even as the state reeled under an acute water scarcity, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said Thursday.

Making a statement in the assembly on the first day of the Budget session, he listed out the various measures his government has initiated to tide over the crisis and aid the distressed farmers.

He announced a grant of Rs one crore from the Chief Ministers Development Fund to each assembly constituency for resolving the drinking water scarcity.

Our government is committed to farmers welfare and is taking all steps to mitigate the drought conditions and solve drinking water scarcity across the state,” he said.

Besides implementing the YSR Rythu Bharosa scheme, under which Rs 12,500 input grant will be given to each farmer, the government was setting up a Rs 2,000 crore Natural Calamity Relief Fund to serve farmers in times of distress, the chief minister said.

As against the normal rainfall of 135.5 mm from June 1 till now, the state received only 70.1 mm, marking a deficit of 48.3 per cent.

While various crops are grown in 42 lakh hectares during Kharif, sowings were taken up in only 3.82 lakh hectares so far this season, he said.

Normally, sowings would have been completed at least in 9.15 lakh ha by now. This year, sowings are delayed due to scanty rainfall and lack of water, Jagan pointed out.

He accused the previous TDP regime of diverting even Central government grant, leaving farmers in agony after last years drought.

We all have witnessed a worst drought in 2018-19.

The then government sought Rs 1838 crore from the Centre for drought relief. The Centre released Rs 900 crore towards input subsidy for farmers but the Chandrababu Naidu government did not give even a single rupee to the hapless farmers who lost their crops, the Chief Minister alleged.

Besides, the previous government also did not pay Rs 960 crore to farmers on the paddy procured from them last year and “betrayed” the farmers by “not fully honouring” its promise of farm loan waiver, he charged.

Though it cut down the total outstanding to just Rs 24,500 crore, only about Rs 15,000 crore was cleared to banks in five years. As a result, the zero-interest loan scheme for farmers was scrapped, he added.

The farm loan dues now stood at Rs 1,49,224 crore,the chief minister said.

It was to pull the farmers out of distress that his government was re-introducing the zero-interest loan scheme besides paying crop insurance premium on behalf of farmers, he said.

He also said the state government would pay Rs 2,164 crore as insurance premium for over 55 lakh farmers.

While Rs 360 crore have been released to clear payment dues to paddy farmers, another Rs 384 crore towards seeds had also been released by his government, the Chief Minister said.

Jagan also said his government would pay Rs 2,000 crore as input subsidy to farmers, which the previous regime ‘owed’ last year.

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