HP waives off stamp duty for farm loans

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Dharamshala, Oct 8 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Government has waived off stamp duty for farmers for taking agricultural loan state Agriculture Minister Raj Krishan Gaur said today.

Inaugurating an agricultural officers workshop on rabi crops at CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University here, he said the decision to waive off the duty was taken at a Cabinet meeting recently to help the farmers of the state.

Referring to the Rs 100 crore subsidy on various food-items in fair prices shops of the state, he said Himachal was the only state in the country to make a provision for this.

Since the state was still dependent on central pool for foodgrains, the scientists must make efforts to increase the farm production to make the state self sufficient on food front, he said.

''This will also help the farmers in raising their socio-economic status.'' Mr Gaur underlined the importance of striking a balance between traditional and modern thinking, planning and strategizing for farm growth.

Due to varied food habits, not all the national level research projects were relevant to specific areas of the state hence the farm university and state department of agriculture would have to work as per the needs of the state, he said.

The state agricultural minister appreciated the research and extension efforts of the university in controlling weeds and pasture improvement, but asked it to make specific plans for the new emerging problems in view of global warming, ever increasing population and pressure on farm lands. Moreover, efforts would have to be made to optimally utilize available resources to improve agriculture of the state, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Tej Partap said Indian agriculture was passing through a critical juncture and as per the studies of National Farmers' Commission not more than 44 per cent research has reached farmers' fields.

There was a need to think afresh about the food security of the state, he said, adding that the farmers of the state need area specific micro planning due to varied agro-ecological and geographical conditions.

Mr Pratap also advocated making farmers self sufficient on seeds of various crops as this costly input from private companies depletes their financial resources.

UNI

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