Nirmala Sitharaman meets Gannavaram farmers

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday visited a remote village in Vijayawada and met farmers to find out the problems faced by them.

Nirmala Sitharaman met farmers in Jukkala Nekkalam village in Gannavaram and reviewed the minimum support price for their yield and the market conditions in view of the pandemic situation. The farmers apprised the finance minister that they were not getting MSP on their farm produce, mainly on paddy and sugarcane. The farmers put forth various demands, including Rs 2,000 MSP per quintal on paddy. The finance minister informed that the central government has introduced farm bills and many of their problems will be sorted out. She was accompanied by various state BJP leaders, including party president Somu Veeraju, former president Kanna Laxminarayana, party state affairs-in-charge Sunil Deodhar, MLC P V N Madhav among others.

Sitharaman’s visit to Gannavaram comes at a time when farmers of Amaravati region have been agitating against the Jagan government over the three capitals bill for the past nearly 300 days. Farmers of Amaravati region villages have given almost 34,000 acres of land for the development of capital for the state in Amaravati. Several farmers in Gannavaram gave away their lands for the development of the airport under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS).

Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Gannavaram could kick up a fresh row. Her visit may not go down well with the YSRCP leaders. Earlier, she was criticized for advising the Andhra Pradesh government to rethink on cancelling various agreements which have international funding. She was of the view that cancelling agreements would have serious implications on the country’s investment prospects. She had also observed that the AP government was not utilizing the power supplied by the central generating stations. She criticized the government for supplying power at Rs 9 per unit when the central government, through its generation stations, is offering it at Rs 2.7 per unit.

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