The Telangana government issued a Government Order (GO) on Tuesday, which released Rs 4,000 crore to waive off agricultural crop loans in the state.
This was part of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's poll promise.
"The government has released the fourth and final installment of Rs 4,000 crore under Crop Loan Waiver Scheme thereby clearing farm debt of Rs 17,000 crore. Through GO Rt. No. 860, Government issued the budget release order for Agriculture HoD giving debt relief to 36 lakh farmers," the CMO said in a statement.
The allocation for this, was made in the recent budget, for the year 2017-18.
During the recent budget session, the state's Finance Minister said that irrigation remained the top priority, and allocated Rs 23,675 crore for the sector. The allocation for agriculture was Rs 5,943 crore previously.
This included the waiver of farm loans.
KCR, had earlier stated that the waiver would not happen in one go, but in four installments, of which this is the last.
This comes after months of being criticised by Opposition parties in the state, for ignoring the plight of Telangana's farmers.
“Farmers expecting that the government will pay, have not paid the banks; now the banks are not lending to farmers in rural areas in Telangana. So, the farmers are at the mercy of private money lenders who charge as high 36 to 48% interest per annum, and it is a precarious situation...It has affected 37 lakh farmers whose ‘pattadar’ passbooks are with the banks. Three lakh women farmers had mortgaged their gold with the banks," Telangana PCC President N Uttam Kumar Reddy had alleged last year.
Activists also add that most tenant farmers in the state are yet to receive their Loan Eligibility Cards (LEC), despite an act that was passed in the AP Assembly in 2011.
The LEC would give the farmers access to 0% interest crop loans from banks, crop insurance and several other agricultural subsidies.
Telangana CM Sri KCR has fulfilled one of his major election promises of farm loan waiver of RS. 17,000 crore benefitting 36 lakh farmers1/2— KTR (@KTRTRS) April 11, 2017
Govt released the last of 4 instalments of 4000 crore today. Major promise fulfilled within 3 years of assuming office 2/2— KTR (@KTRTRS) April 11, 2017
Two further clarifications on farm loan waiver: It includes the interest incurred by farmers. No state govt in India has done this before— KTR (@KTRTRS) April 11, 2017