BALASORE (Odisha): Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday promised to introduce a separate "kisan budget" and bring a law to prevent farmers from being jailed for inability to repay farm loans.
Mounting a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said if the BJP-led government can waive huge debts of industrialists, why should the distressed farmers be punished.
"A new law will be brought if Congress is voted to power. It will ensure that no farmer is sent to jail for being unable to repay agriculture loan," Gandhi said at an election rally in this coastal Odisha town.
Similarly, a separate budget for the agriculture sector will be introduced which will be presented before the general budget, the Congress chief said.
"We will introduce a kisan budget which will specify the amount of farm loans to be waived a year in advance, Minimum Support Price (MSP) for foodgrains.
Places, where cold storages and food processing units are to be set up, will also be shared a year in advance," he said.
Hitting out at Modi for skipping issues such as unemployment, farmers distress, price rise and corruption which were being raked up before 2014 polls, Gandhi said the prime minister is aware that "speaking about his past promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh each to people's bank accounts will simply boomerang now".
Noting that Congress is not promising to give everybody Rs 15 lakh, Gandhi said Rs 72,000 will be deposited in the bank account of the woman member of each of the five crore poor families per year under the 'NYAY' scheme.
Stating that poor states like Odisha and Bihar will benefit immensely from NYAY scheme, Gandhi said every month Rs 6000 will be given to the poor family whose monthly income is less than Rs 12,000.