NEW DELHI: The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh on Thursday said in the Lok Sabha that the Central government would bear the cost of the debt waiver of small and marginal farmers in Uttar Pradesh. During the discussion on demands for grants for the ministry, a number of MPs stressed that the Centre should consider waiver of farmers’ loans in other states.
While intervening when the INLD MP Dushyant Chautala sought to know about the way the farmers’ loans in UP would be waived, Singh stated that the Centre would take the burden, while adding that the Central government is already providing three per cent interest subvention to farmers for loans across the country. The state governments share additional four per cent of the interest subvention, he added.
The Lok Sabha MPs cutting across the party lines stressed that the farmers’ in the country are stressed. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Prem Singh Chandumajra argued that the Centre should consider direct transfer of subsidy to farmers, besides taking a number of steps to make farming a profitable activity. “Even while the farmers produce grains, the profit is made by those who process. The government should extend reservation in food processing industry for farmers to help them increase their income. The Centre should also consider merging ministries, including agriculture, food processing, rural development, water resources and sanitation to create one single ministry to focus on issues of farmers and people living in the rural areas,” added Chandumajra.
The expelled RJD MP rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav sought to draw the attention of the House towards the rising incidences of suicides by farmers. The BJP MP Virender Kashyap countered his claims, saying that the NDA government has taken a number of steps to double the income of the farmers.
Singh, while replying to the discussion, said that the Centre has increased the investment in agriculture to Rs 10 lakh crore in the current financial year. The Lok Sabha passed the demands for grants for the ministry.