Amaravati: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) National President on Thursday expressed concern over inordinate delay in clearing dues of paddy farmers even as the government was failing to ensure remunerative prices for different crops.

In a letter to Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, Naidu demanded immediate payment of the paddy dues. "This is very necessary considering how the farmers have been badly hit in successive cyclones and natural calamities. It was alarming that the food grain dues were mounting by the day," he said.

TDP chief said the paddy dues have reached over Rs. 4,000 crore as of now. "Payments were not being made to the farmers in East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, and Prakasam districts. Farmers were being forced to make rounds to the respective offices. During the TDP regime, the procurement-related cash used to be deposited in the respective accounts of the farmers within 48 hours," he said.

Naidu strongly objected to the new practice introduced by the YSRCP government to make payments in 21 days, which was causing many problems for the farmers. "Even this deadline was not being met by the Government. Nearly two months were over since the paddy was procured from the farmers but their cash was not deposited. As a result, the farmers were not able to repay loans brought and spent on cultivation," said Naidu.

The former chief minister said that there were pending dues of Rs 2,500 crore only in the Godavari districts as per the farmers. "The procurement was also being ignored. Till now, only 27.87 lakh metric tonnes of paddy were procured as against the promised 45 lakh tonnes. The groundnut crop was totally damaged in Rayalaseema during natural calamities in Kharif 2020. No input subsidy was paid till now and there was no assurance from the government so far," he said.

Decrying the government's indifference, Naidu said that BPT-54 variety paddy is being procured at Rs. 1,050 per 75 kg. "Its price was Rs. 1,100 to Rs. 1,350 in the open market. Farmers were losing Rs. 300 to Rs. 800. There was a big gap between the prices being offered by the Government and the private traders. Rythu Bharosa Kendras and Grama Sachivalayas were not coming to the rescue of the farmers," he said.

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