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Faced with protests from the opposition, the TRS government in Telangana on Tuesday gave administrative sanction for the release of Rs 2019.19 crore towards the third installment of its crop loan waiver scheme. “…government hereby accords administrative sanction for an amount of Rs 20,19,19,00,000 to the Commissioner of Agriculture, Telangana, Hyderabad, under Non-Plan from the Budget Estimate Provision 2016-17 towards meeting the expenditure for the second trenche amount of third installment under Crop Loan Waiver Scheme 2014,” a Government Order (GO) issued by the Agriculture Department said in Hyderabad.
The TRS government had announced a waiver of about Rs 17,000 crore for agriculture loans to farmers in the state, a major promise of TRS in the 2014 Assembly elections. The decision was expected to benefit about 36 lakh farmers.
The state government had released Rs 4,250 crore of the as the first installment and released another Rs 4,250 crore in the second installment. The government is expected to clear the pending dues of the scheme in the fourth and final installment.
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The state government’s decision to release the funds for the third installment of farm loan waiver scheme came against the backdrop of intensified protests by Congress, TDP, BJP and other opposition parties for fulfilling the loan waiver at one go.
The opposition parties have hit the streets–undertaking ‘padayatras’ and other protests–against the TRS government. Slamming the TRS government for its move to build a new secretariat by demolishing the existing one, state Congress president and MLA N Uttam Kumar Reddy recently alleged that the government is not releasing funds for farmers’ loan waiver but sought to waste public money by demolishing the existing secretariat.
“It is sad and ironic that your government does not release overdue amounts for farmers’ loan waiver scheme or students’ fee reimbursement scheme but indulges in such wasteful and unnecessary spending. As the first CM of Telangana state, we expect that you will conduct all matters like a statesman.
“The voice of the opposition parties, members of civil society, NGOs and the lay public must be heard by you and the move for a new secretariat building dropped,” the TPCC chief said in a letter to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao recently.