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Pawar to hold meet on ryot problems in Hyderabad today

Monday 10 April 2006

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar will chair a crucial consultation meeting of Chief Ministers, Agriculture Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka on Monday in the city to focus on permanent measures to tackle farmers suicides.

Special package

The meeting assumes significance, as a special package for these States to prevent suicides by farmers is likely to be discussed. The Maharashtra Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh will attend the consultation meeting.

The State Government on its part is set to utilise the occasion to seek additional Central support in its endeavour to make agriculture more profitable and make the State free of farmers suicides. The Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Sunday held a high level meeting on the specific issues to be focussed during the meeting.

A.P. to seek funds

The Chief Minister’s office said that Dr. Reddy would seek a special package from the Centre to boost the farm sector and make the ryots self-reliant and self-sufficient in all aspects.

He is expected to make a detailed presentation on the farmers’ suicides and the steps taken by the Government to redress them.

As a result of the cumulative effect of various farmer welfare measures taken by the Government since 2004, the number of ryots’ suicides had dropped from 177 in August 2004 to seven in March this year.

The Chief Minister would seek rescheduling of loans, waiver of interest and a special debt-restructuring package for small and marginal farmers.

Crop insurance

The other issues likely to be raised by Dr. Reddy include one-time settlement of loans, Central assistance for irrigation projects, assistance for free power devices, liberalised crop insurance, financial assistance to Rythu Mitra groups and medical insurance for farmers.

Districts selected

The Centre has selected 30 districts for special package assistance of which more than half were in Andhra Pradesh.The selected districts in the State are: Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda, Khammam, Warangal, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Nizamabad, Medak, Mahabubnagar, Kurnool, Anantapur, Chittoor, Prakasam and Guntur.

See online : The Hindu

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