Hyderabad: Deputy chief minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali, who gave a cryptic answer to a question on the issue of new pattadar passbooks in the Assembly, had to modify his reply when the Congress gave evidence to the contrary.
Mahmood Ali, who holds the revenue portfolio, said there was no proposal to cancel all the pattadar passbooks. But T Jeevan Reddy of the Congress provided ‘evidence’ of the government designing new passbooks. “We have no objection to new passbooks being given, but small farmers should not be deprived of their ownership documents,” Jeevan Reddy said.
He said district collectors had already got letters from the government about the new passbooks to farmers.
Other Congress members suggested that the passbooks should be available online so that banks do not have to physically collect the passbook while giving loans.
Mahmood Ali then said the government was looking at designs for new passbooks that would look like a passport. “But there is no plan to cancel the existing passbooks. We will only exchange the old ones,” he said.