Hyderabad: The TDP chief Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu has demanded that money be immediately released towards waiver of the loans of the weavers as promised, and the community be accommodated under the NREGP programme to save them from hunger and malnutrition.
In a letter to the Chief Minister Mr. N. Kirankumar Reddy, the opposition leader has said that the government has promised to waive Rs. 312 crore of loans of weavers three years ago, but issued G Os only for release of Rs. 109 crores. He said even this amount was not released so far.
He said the Apex body of the Weavers Cooperatives, APCO, was almost defunct with mounting arrears of more than Rs. 56 crores from the government departments. As a result, APCO could not release payments to primary societies which facilitate provision of employment to weavers at society level. He has reminded that elections to the Board of APCO were not conducted since 2008 and it showed the indifference of the government towards the weavers.
Stating that there was need for major policy initiatives to save the weavers from the present position of misery and destitution, he said they should be included under the NREGA, and schemes like Janata Cloth production be once again implemented to provide employment to them. He said due to increase in input prices and cost of production, the societies had lost their competitive edge and needed support in the form of 30 percent rebate to survive in the market.
Mr. Naidu said there were several pending issues like sharing of yarn subsidy between society and weavers which have not been resolved till date. He has also said that their long pending demand of continuing the Thrift Fund scheme with state funds, as was done in neighboring states, was also not materialized.
The former Chief Minister said the insensitivity of the government towards weavers was painful and added that their genuine demands be addressed on a priority basis in a time bound manner. (NSS)