BJP demands direct finance and waiver of loans for farmers

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Pune, Jan 16 (UNI) Demanding waiver of all loans and abolition of the three-tier system of finance, the Bharatiya Janata Party state unit here today said that farmer suicides continued unabated in the state because relief packages announced by the Prime Minister and the state government have not addressed the core problems faced by farmers.

After submitting recommendations to Dr Narendra Jadhav, Vice-Chancellor, Pune University, who is heading the Commission appointed by state government to look into the vexing problem of farmer suicides in the state, BJP leader Nitin Gadkari alleged that families of farmers who committed suicide never received the relief package of Rs one lakh.

''This has happened due to wrong 'panchanamas,'' he added. The ever increasing burden of debt and the exploitative three tier system of finance through NABARD had added to the misery of the farmers, Mr Gadkari said.

''Several Government run rural banks, cooperative credit societies and district cooperative banks, each charge three per cent interest on loans, by the time it reaches the farmers, the amount goes upto to nearly 14 per cent as a result the farmer has to pay more interest.'' This three-tier system must go and farmers should be financed directly,'' he said.

He charged that the Rs 750 crore package announced by the Prime Minister had benefited financial institutions under the control of Nationalist Congress Party(NCP).

Mr Gadkari demanded that all the irrigation works be completed and a one time settlement (OTS) price for agricultural produce be given to farmers including Rs 2700 per quintal for cotton and Rs 1200 per quintal for grains. Electricity should be given without interruptions, there should be no load shedding. ''These are a few measures among others that may help contain farmer suicides in the state,'' he said.

The Commission headed by Dr Jadhav, met Shiv Sena leaders last week.

Dr Jadhav has been interacting with farmers in Vidarbha and other parts of the state and also political parties, NGOs and social groups to find solutions to contain farmer suicides in the state. The recommendations of the Commission will be submitted to the state government on February 13th.

UNI DWN SR SP RK1745

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