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Naidu writes to PM Modi, highlights farmers' issues

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India] May 7 : Andhra Pradesh Chief MinisterChandrababu Naidu has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his intervention in addressing farmers' issues.

The letter asked the Prime Minister to fulfill 'Minimum Support Price (MSP) promise'.
Naidu demanded that the MSP should be fixed on Model-C2 (Cost of Cultivation + Rental value on leased land+ Interest on value of owned capital assets and family labour) + 50 % of the Production Cost instead of current practice of Model - A2 (Cost of Cultivation and Lease on Land) + Family labour cost.

According to Naidu, the MSP for paddy will be Rs. 2533 under Model C2+ cost of production. He suggested adopting a similar method for fixing MSP for other agricultural crops.

Naidu also opposed the proposed amendments in the Electricity Act, 2003 which "enables the centre to double down on states, not to offer free power to any segment of consumers".

He said that the amendment proposals imply the intentions of the Central Government to classify "Free Power" as "Populist".

Naidu said that the amendments would severely affect Andhra Pradesh that is an agrarian state, with more than 50% of its workforce depending on agriculture sector.
"This unilaterally proposed amendment in the Electricity Act would be detrimental to the interests of farmers in the country and to the principles of Cooperative Federalism," Naidu said in the letter written on May 2.

Terming doing away with Free Power as "unjustified", Naidu requested the Prime Minister to withdraw any such proposals to amend the Electricity Act, 2003.

Naidu also highlighted the problems in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
"The crop loans sanctioned/disbursed by the banks are to be re-entered into the National Crop Insurance portal by the individual banks. The banks are finding it difficult to enter data on account of technical problems," Naidu said, adding that "time given for portal entry is 7-10 days which is inadequate to complete the entry of all the loans sanctioned within the cutoff date".

He also demanded to upgrade the CBS portals of the banks to as per the requirements of National Crop Insurance Portal.

Naidu also complained that the insurance companies lack the professional knowledge and they quote high premium rates.

"The Insurance companies lack the required professional knowledge and the rates quoted are high, which increases the upfront premium subsidy to be contributed by Central and State Governments and some insurance companies resist the coverage of Non loanee farmers under the excuse of moral hazard," Naidu said.

"The insurance companies should be advised to be rational in premium rating, to give special focus for coverage of Non loanee farmers and target to be set, since the crop production risk coverage is the only benefit available in the adverse crop season for the farmers who do not have access to institutional finance," the Chief Minister added.

He said that the insurance companies are not using latest technologies as mandated by the PMFBY to assess the crop damage.

He demanded that it should be made mandatory for the insurance companies to adopt technology at least from the coming Kharif season.

Naidu informed the Prime Minister that abnormal delay in settlement of claims is resulting in farmer dissatisfaction and demanded that the insurance companies should finalize and release the claims with in a period of 30 days and the beneficiaries details should be made available on the website.

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