Loan waiver will not end agrarian crisis in country' Badal

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Chandigarh, Feb 29 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today described the announcement of complete loan waiver of farmers owning less than five acres of land as " an inadequate decision taken under farmer's pressure and totally insufficient to meet the burgeoning farm crisis in the country".

"The decision would not benefit more than twenty seven per cent of the farmers in Punjab and that too lies in the realm of uncertainty," he said while reacting to the loan waiver announced in the Union Budget.

On the other hand the Punjab Congress celebrated the announcement of Finance Minister P Chidambaram on the farm sector and described it as a " bold, magnanimous and historic decision of the UPA of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh".

'Ladoos' (sweets) were distrbuted at Punjab Congress Bhavan here with Congress workers breaking into a 'bhangra' following the announcement by the Finance Minister. The Punjab Congress announced its decision to call off the proposed 'Black Day' which they were to organise at all district headquarter towns to protest against the anti-people policies of the SAD-BJP government.

"It is time to celebrate, we will hold the protest later on," state Congress chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal announced at a media conference here today while claiming credit for the loan waiver.

Mrs Bhattal had a few days back led a delegation to meet the Prime Minister and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with the demand to provide relief to the farmers of Punjab who were under debt. The SAD-BJP had held a massive rally in Delhi on Februry 26 to highlight the plight of the agrarian sector of Punjab.

"Whatever little relief that has been announced through this budget is done under the impact of the unprecedented nd historic farmers rally organized by the SAD-BJP alliance in New Delhi on February 26", Mr Badal claimed in his reaction.

He said that the rally had so rattled the centre that even some central leaders known to be cool had used rather intemperate language against it. " This is proof enough of how the rally has worked in favour of the farmers to the extent that the budget had to be changed at the last minute to include the farm sector", he claimed.

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