New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) Leader of the Opposition L K Advani today laughed at the Government for waking up to the farmers plight after having remained virtually oblivious of it, describing the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver for farmers as not only "too late" but also "insufficient".
In a reaction to the Budget 2008-09, presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Parliament today, Mr Advani pointed out that a large number of farmers had taken loans from private money lenders. Arrangements should have been made to provide relief to these farmers. Besides the Government should have also reduced interest rate on loans to 4% and provided an assured income insurance scheme to the farmers.
The Government, he said, merely looked on for the past four years when thousands of farmers committed suicides in distress. "I am sure the people will easily see through this charade," he said.
Mr Advani wondered that the Finance Minister had talked about farm loans to be remitted by June 30 this year but did not make administrative arrangements needed for the loan waiver. There is no provision of Rs 60,000 crore in the Budget, he said, asking Mr Chidambaram to explain from where the money would come for the waiver.
He said Mr Chidamabaram had quoted Saint Tiruvallurvar that generous grants, compassion, righteous rule and succour to the downtrodden are the hallmarks of good governance. But he did not remember the saint's teaching in the first four years of his office.
This government had come to power on the slogan 'Aam Aadmi' but during its tenure not only Aam Aadmi but Aam Aurat (woman) suffered the most due to spiralling price rise of many commodities and insecurity.
While observing that the Manmohan Singh government was known for making long promises but "short on delivery", he said he did not see this year will be different.
Continuing the BJP tirade against the UPA government's alleged appeasement policy, he said he was surprised at the "heavy communal overtones" of the budget. "It is a throw back to the Liaqat Ali days, the consequences of which are well-known," he added, apparently referring to the pre-partition era.
UNI KAS/MCN RP KN1655