The Centre is trying to privatise power and agriculture sectors which will have disastrous impact on farmers and others, Telangana Minister for IT and Industries K T Rama Rao has alleged.
Speaking to reporters in Siricilla on Thursday, he said if the Electricity (Amendment) Bill brought in by the Central government turns into an Act, farmers would lose free power, Scheduled Caste members, Scheduled Tribe persons, poultry farmers, washermen, barbers, weavers, and others will have to bid goodbye to power subsidies.
Rama Rao reiterated Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's stand against the reforms in agriculture and power sectors, and reminded the state government's resolution passed in the state assembly against the Bill.
"Telangana is a state where farmers cultivate lands relying on power supply. The state has 26 lakh pump sets. What would be the fate of farmers if free power is not supplied?" he asked.
Crops are grown across 1.35 crore acres in Telangana. An additional 50 lakh acres of land was cultivated from 2015 to date. It has been possible because of schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bhima, and strengthening of the irrigation sector, he pointed out.
"While crop cultivation in Telangana ushered in festive spirit, the central government's decisions are causing distress to our farmers... But Union Minister Piyush Goyal mocked us asking us to practice eating broken rice," he charged at the Centre.The way fuel prices have surged, power tariffs too will increase in future if private companies start distributing electricity. Procurement of grains might be privatised from next season, he predicted, adding that an attempt is being made to benefit private companies.