Who is lying on zero interest loans?

The Andhra Pradesh state assembly on Friday had an acrimonious debate between the ruling YSR Congress party and opposition Telugu Desam Party on waiver of interest on crop loans.

While YSRC president and chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that the previous TDP government had not given an interest waiver on crop loans, TDP president and opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu argued that the farmers who had repaid loans on time were not charged any interest during his regime.

Naidu even serviced a privilege notice on Jagan for misleading the House on zero-interest on crop loans during the previous TDP regime.

He produced government orders and socio-economic survey reports in support of his argument.

He said the zero interest concept was introduced during the Kiran Kumar Reddy regime and was continued by the TDP government.

The issue also came up for discussion during the state-level bankers’ committee meetings, he pointed out.

However, Jagan gave a strong retort to Naidu.

He said what the Naidu government had paid to the farmers was pittance. Out of the total interest liabilities of Rs 11,600 crore on crop loans, the TDP government had paid only Rs 630 crore in the last five years.

“But, Naidu is claiming as if the entire debts of farmers had been cleared. Naidu should remember how the people had taught him a fitting lesson in the assembly elections for his non-performance,” the chief minister said.

However, Naidu claimed that his government had paid over Rs 900 cr interests to farmers who availed a loan below one lakh and repaid the principle amount promptly.

“Jagan, his ministers and MLAs are trying to terrorise the opposition inside and outside the assembly,” Naidu alleged.