Andhra farmers and the states loan waiver scheme
Vishnu Mohan | 29 Jul 2014

Some farmers in Andhra Pradesh are treating CM N. Chandrababu Naidu as God like figure because he is going to fulfill one of the major election promises made by him as party chief of TDP (Telugu Desam Party) of waiving the farmer's loan once the party comes to power.

If categories are made in India with regard to hard working group of people trying to earn their livelihood on a daily basis, then farmers' category would certainly bag the top spot. Therefore, any help given to farmers including waiving of farmer's loan would prove to be in the best interest of the country.

However, there are also some reports saying that bankers have requested the Union finance ministry to convince the Andhra Pradesh government to drop its proposed farm loan waiver scheme, at a time when a rise in bad loans is eroding the profitability of lenders, especially state run ones. It is estimated that the total amount of loan waiver including those loans that were taken by mortgaging gold- all of these could cost the State Government something around Rs 60,000 crores.

The previous UPA Government at the Centre was voted to power second time mainly because of its decision to successfully waive the farmer's loan during its tenure of first term. Therefore, the system of loan waiver for farmers looks like very popular with the masses.

As reported by The Hindu, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said in a media briefing that in spite of the difficult financial situation with the State facing a budget deficit of Rs 16, 000 crores, the Government decided to come to the rescue of farmers in a bid to revive crisis hit agriculture and create confidence in farmers.

NRI (Non- Resident Indians) community from Andhra Pradesh came to limelight mainly because of N. Chandrababu Naidu's efforts (during his previous regime) in simplifying the passport rules and making it very easy for any person wanting to go abroad to earn better his livelihood. Based on reports, in the year 2005-06, the NRI's remittance from abroad in Andhra Pradesh touched $24.1 billion, a record which other States could not achieve.

Therefore, Mr. Naidu should also keep the options open for taking the help of NRI's in helping the farmers of his State to the extent possible, through innovative schemes, in case his plan of loan waiver face some obstacles.

Other State Governments should also encourage their people (eligible ones) to seek avenues abroad for earning (bettering) their livelihood by making passport formalities a lot easier. Because, Andhra Pradesh has shown the way that NRI's who manage to go abroad do get back to India and especially their home State by remitting money earned oversees and also doing lots of philanthropic and charitable work.

Through remittances, the revenue earned by a State Government do get a boost and therefore making passport related issues a lot more easier for any eligible person living in any State would prove to be in the best interest of the country as a whole.