Hyderabad: Congress members staged a walk out in Telangana Legislative Council on Tuesday protesting against the indifferent attitude of the government towards farmers.
They expressed dissatisfaction over Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy’s statement about release of input subsidy to drought-hit farmers and accused the government of meting out a raw deal to the farming community.
Leader of Opposition Muhammed Ali Shabbir said the State Government had to pay input subsidy of Rs. 1,080 crore for 2015-16. Of this, the Centre’s contribution was Rs. 822 crore and State Government’s share was Rs. 198 crore. Five months after the Government of India funds were received, they are yet to be distributed, he alleged.
Later speaking to press persons, Shabbir Ali said the government had declared 332 Mandals as drought affected and sought Central funds. “Even though the Centre released money, the same has not been distributed. There is no point in merely issuing orders to banks without releasing the funds”, he said.
Earlier, the Minister refuted the Congress claim and said government had so far released Rs. 791 crore input subsidy to farmers. Nobody could question the commitment of TRS government towards farmers. He reeled out figures to show how injustice was done to Telangana in release of funds by the previous Congress government.
During the 2013 drought, the then government released Rs. 700 crore to Chittoor, Cuddapah and Anantapur districts in AP while the drought hit Mehboobnagar and Nalgonda in Telangana got a measly Rs. 13 crore. Similarly on an earlier occasion, Prakasham, Nellore and other districts received Rs. 1,000 crore while Telangana was given just Rs. 134 crore, the Minister said.
“You can judge for yourself under which government Telangana is benefitting”, the Minister remarked drawing loud protests from the Congress members.
The Minister clarified that not all the funds released by Centre were for input subsidy. They were also meant for urban and rural water supply. Without waiting for the Government of India money, the State government had spent Rs. 550 crore on drinking water supply for rural and urban areas, Reddy said.