Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national general secretary Nara Lokesh on Thursday urged Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to take steps to prevent aqua farmers from declaring ‘aqua holiday’ this year.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, Lokesh said one sector after another including aqua culture was getting stuck in crisis ever since the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) came to power.

“The sand policy had crushed the construction sector and over 130 allied sectors related to it. Hundreds of construction workers eventually committed suicides,” he said, according to the TDP statement.

Lokesh expressed concern over the thoughtless policies of the Government resulting in ‘current cuts’ and ‘power holiday’ that gave a strong blow to the industry.
He said due to a lack of remunerative prices, the farmers were declaring ‘crop holidays’. A steep rise in rates of seed and fertilizer had raised costs of cultivation, he added.
Lokesh termed it alarming that Andhra Pradesh had come to stand in third place in the country in farmers’ suicides. “Agriculture had totally collapsed. Though one sector after another was collapsing, the YSRCP Government was not taking any preventive steps.”

Decrying the Government’s ‘indifference’, Lokesh said the aqua farmers had decided to observe an ‘aqua holiday’ due to increasing losses. “The increased current charges, higher rates of feed and decreased rates of prawn dealt a severe blow.”

Lokesh strongly objected to the Jagan Government not responding to the aqua farmers’ decision to go on ‘aqua holiday’ even now. “The rate of feed went up to Rs. 20 per kg while the prices of minerals and other products went up by 30 percent. But the Government had not taken any steps to provide relief,” read the release by the TDP.

He condemned that the Chief Minister promised a great deal to aqua farmers but after coming to power, he brought the feed-seed act that caused huge losses to the farmers.

“The Chandrababu regime took steps to bring double-digit growth in the aqua sector. For this, current charges were reduced by Rs 2.63 per unit,” said the TDP leader.

Nara Lokesh recalled how Jagan Reddy promised to reduce Rs 2 per unit to Rs 1.5 but did not fulfill it after winning the polls.
“Chandrababu gave subsidies and free transformers. The YCP rule cancelled all subsidies and became a cause for a deepening crisis in the aqua sector,” he said in a letter.

Lokesh said that in the past three years, not a single new ice plant, processing plant or cold storage has been constructed. “No incentives were given for those willing to set them up. While the TDP rule collected Rs 1.20 for 1,000 litres from aqua farmers, this was increased to Rs 120 now for the same quantity,” he added. (ANI)