BJP demands one time write off of farm loans up to Rs 50,000

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) The BJP today demanded a one time write off of all farm loans up to Rs 50,000.

Blaming the wrong policies of the Congress regime for pushing the farmers to indebtedness without giving them remunerative prices for agricultural produce, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said the loan waiver should be treated as overdue payment to farmers being adjusted in their loan accounts.

He said the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) had determined that 43 million farmers were indebted to banks. If the prices fixed by the Centre continue to be bad, the farmers will face worse situation, he said.

He said if the government has any concern they should first implement the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CCCP) recommendations of the farmers which had suggested paying a Minumum Support Price of Rs 1000 for wheat and rice, Rs 2000 for arhar dal, Rs 2520 for moong Dal, Rs 2,100 for groundnut, Rs 1,350 for soyabean and Rs 2215 for sunflower.

The CACP recommendation fell below the recommendation of Dr M S Swaminathan committee which feels that the formula for fixing fair returns should be Input costs plus 50 per cent of the input costs.

He said as Congress President Sonia Gandhi was busy doling out lip sympathy to the farmers in Rai Bareli for the three days, 11 more farmers had committed suicides in Vidarbha region unable to repay the bank debts. The farmers suicides during first 50 days of 2008 was 150 and the situation would be even grim as summer approached.

Mr Javadekar said the government should speed up investments in irrigation projects, amend land acquisition act to facilitate institutional credit, gaurantee crop insurance scheme and transfer of technology for generating production and productivity of agricultural sector.

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