Vijayawada: Government adviser (public affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy on Thursday rubbished former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's letter and said the content of the letter was filled with false allegations against the state government.
During a press conference here on Thursday, Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy said the TDP leaders have no moral right to speak on farmers' issues as they had left a debt of Rs. 960 crore towards crop procurement. He said the letter written by Mr. Naidu about the pending arrears to farmers is a false propaganda by the TDP leaders.
"The Opposition has been showing false concerns about farmers and the agriculture sector when in reality the same TDP government had left a pending due of Rs. 960 crore," he alleged, adding it was Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy who took the initiative to clear all the pending arrears left by Chandrababu Naidu. Chandrababu should be ashamed for writing a letter saying that the farmers were paid within 48 hours of procuring the crops during his rule, he said.
Drawing a comparison between TDP and YSRCP government's crop procurement, Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy said that hardly 18 lakh tonnes were procured during 2014-15 and by the end of the TDP term in 2018-19, 20.5 lakh tonnes of crop was procured at a cost of Rs. 4,800 crore, leaving arrears of Rs. 1,000 crore. The YSRCP government on the other hand had procured nearly 34.74 lakh tonnes of crop by paying Rs. 6,331 crore in 2019-20 and in 2020-21, so far over 25 lakh tonnes were procured by paying Rs. 4,728 crore to the farmers, he added.
Regarding Minimum Support Price (MSP), he said the main reason behind introducing MSP was to safeguard the farmers and to ensure they do not suffer losses by selling their produce at a non-profitable price. "It is not mandatory for the farmers to sell their crops to the government. They can sell their crops to whoever is paying a higher price and the government's job is to oversee that farmers are getting paid enough," the top official said.
In regard to property tax, he said TDP is criticizing the government for no clear reason except out of sheer jealousy. Under the FRBM Act, the state is implementing the recommendations of the Central government as per the 15th Finance Commission, which is already being implemented in BJP-ruled states, he added. The additional revenue to the government due to the upgraded property tax policy is only Rs. 186 crore, he said and added that none of the property owners are making a fuss, except TDP and BJP leaders. Speaking on the pending arrears by the Centre, he said that BJP can take that credit by giving Rs. 3,300 crore arrears.