Hyderabad: The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, today asked the East Godavari district Collector and other officials concerned to enumerate the labour, who needed employment in case of non-cultivation during Kharif in some areas of the district. The officials have informed that at present Rs 50 crores worth of works have been identified in 13 mandals under MGNREGS in the district.
Officials said the intention of the farmers of Godavari districts was not for Crop Holiday but want to reschedule their cropping timing so as to avoid the November cyclones. They also informed that the farmers wanted to go for early Rabi this year and early release of water for next kharif, most probably by May 15, 2012. The Chief Minister asked the officials to work out the possibilities well in advance.
It may be mentioned here that the State government has taken up several new initiatives for the welfare of the farming community and farm labourers apart from providing free electricity to 28 lakh agricultural pump sets. Welfare measures and the initiatives include — waiver of crop loans worth Rs 13,000 crores (during 2008), waiver of interest on crop loans of Rs 650 crores for kharif loans 2010 in 680 mandals, input subsidy of Rs 1,800 crores for last year’s cyclones, fertiliser subsidy of Rs 8,500 crores per year, seed subsidy of Rs 400 crores. Input subsidy was increased from Rs 4,500 to Rs 6,000 per hectare.
At the request of the Chief Minister, the Union government enhanced the MSP of paddy by another Rs 80 and the Chief Minister again requested the Union government to provide Rs 120 bonus for paddy. It may be stated here that the MSP for paddy was increased from Rs 520 to just Rs 590 from 1999 to 2004 (only Rs 70 increase) but was increased from Rs 590 to Rs 1110 during 2004 to 2011 (Rs 520 increase). Becausae of constant persuasion of the Chief Minister, the Union government has permitted the State to export 10 lakh Metric Tonnes of non-basmati rice to other countries.
It is worth mentioning here that for the first time in the State, Rs 2,100 crores were provided to the Civil Supplies Department to procure 22 lakh MT of paddy which was purchased by the government agencies including IKP, women groups from the farmers to ensure MSP to them. As there was bumper harvest of paddy — about 32 % excess production, the State government was contemplating to construct 18 lakh MT godown space through IKP, Marketing Department, MARKFED, State Warehousing Corporation and so on in the next one-and-a-half year apart from the additional 10 lakh MT by the Union government agencies in the State and the total comes to 28 lakh MT godown space. At present, there is a godown space of 43 lakh M.Ts in the State. Results of these measures taken up by the government will mitigate difficulties of the farming community.