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PM announces seven-point relief package for AP
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad |
July 01, 2004 21:27 IST
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Thursday night announced a seven-point package for Andhra Pradesh to overcome the crisis faced by its farming community.
Speaking to reporters at Raj Bhavan at the end of his day-long visit to the state, the prime minister said that the Union government will strengthen the state government's hands for providing relief to the farmers.
He said the centre has agreed to provide immediate cash relief to start the food-for-work programme to provide employment in the affected villages.
The centre will also make available about 1.82 lakh tonnes of rice for the food-for-work programme in addition to the 6 lakh tonnes made available earlier, he said.
The prime minister said orders have been issued for the release of Rs 60 crore from the Calamity Relief Fund to the state.
He said that under a scheme announced by the Union finance minister for doubling the credit flow to rural areas, the state government will take up a programme to benefit the farmers.
Referring to suicides by farmers, Dr Singh said he has instructed Andhra Bank officials to coordinate with four other banks -- State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of India, Indian Bank and Syndicate Bank -- to provide help to the affected families in coordination with the state government.
This will be done within 30 days and monitored by the state government as well as the Prime Minister's Office.
The prime minister also announced steps to strengthen the system of crop and livestock insurance to insulate farmers from the vagaries of weather.
Pointing out that one of the factors that had caused distress to the farmers was the menace of low quality and spurious seeds, he said his government will introduce a new Seed Act to regulate and standardise the quality of seeds.