NEW DELHI: With TN farmers protesting in the national capital, the Centre today said that it is absolutely sensitive and seized of the matter but did not clarify on their demands for farm loan waiver and a comprehensive drought relief package.
The matter of farmers protesting from last few days was raised in Rajya Sabha with many members raising the plight of farmers and demanded the government to announce loan waiver for farmers.
Replying to their demand, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Finance minister Arun Jaitley, Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and Water Resources minister Uma Bharti had met the agitating farmers and assured them all support.
“There are several issues which are together, and rightly, being put in this matter and all of which are being given separate attention, like on agriculture and irrigation-related and insurance-related matters,” she said.
She further said that crops sown, which are not getting insurance cover, is being taken up very seriously because the Pradhan Mantri Sinchai Yojana clearly covers for sown in the field and lost, just after sowing loss, post harvest loss and even after- harvest loss.
“Tamil Nadu is getting due recognition as promised. In 2015-16, SDRF and NDRF, that is, the National Disaster Relief Fund moneys which have to go to Tamil Nadu, Rs. 1,000 crores are being released as against the allocation under SDRF,” she added.
Raising the matter during Zero Hour, DMK leader Tiruchi Siva said that 200 farmers have committed suicide and government should immediately announce waiver of loans.
“The TN government has requested for an assistance of Rs 40,000 crore from the NDRF whereas a high-level Committee has recommended and the Government has sanctioned only Rs 1,804 crore as drought relief fund, which is peanuts to the requirement there,” said Siva.
CPM leader D Raja said that farmers have met senior people in the government but their plight continues and government should take a decision on waiving farmers’ loan.
Calling it a irony that farmers who are called ‘anadatas’ are forced to eat rats saying that there is no way they can survive otherwise.
“I am appealing the Government that you can waive the NPAs for rich corporates but you cannot waive loans of poor farmers who are committing suicides. This is something that is not acceptable,” said Yechury.
Meanwhile, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is expected to join the farmers from Tamil Nadu on Thursday. Protestors demanding a write-off on debts and interlinking of rivers have been demonstrating in Jantar Mantar for more than a fortnight.
With no concrete promise from the central government on the demands of the farmers, the protestors are not willing to call the protest off. Farmers have met finance Minister Arun Jaitley, water Minister Uma Bharti and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh in the last few days.