NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday said it would bring a loan waiver scheme for all small and marginal farmers on the pattern of the farm loan waiver of the UPA government in 2009 that benefited 3.2 crore farmers, if it came to power at the Centre.
“The Congress expresses deep concern over the unprecedented and severest agrarian crisis staring the country today. This is because of flawed and deliberate anti-farmer policies of the present NDA government,” said the Congress resolution on agriculture, unemployment and poverty alleviation passed at the party’s plenary session.
Charging the government with neglecting rural distress, the Congress said it would explore setting up Special Agricultural Zones which would focus on cultivating high-value crops for the domestic and export markets. The Congress also resolved to review the methodology used by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices to determine the MSP to guarantee remunerative income to the farmers, factoring in all relevant input costs, including for warehousing and transportation.
The party said it would review the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, draft a new insurance scheme and set up a permanent Kisan and Krishi Majdoor Welfare Ayog. The issue of GST on agricultural equipment and other inputs would be re-examined.
The Congress resolved to put India on the high job growth trajectory, opening up new avenues for youth and taking steps for job expansion in the organised and the unorganised sectors.
The party will review MGNREGA to increase employment by linking it with agriculture and other developmental activities in the rural areas and increase average earnings from about H7,200 to H18,000 per annum.
Aiming at the urban youth, the Congress would facilitate the setting up of an IT Skill Upgradation Fund, create a National Poverty Alleviation Fund, and impose a 5 per cent cess on the incomes of the top 1 per cent richest Indians.