New Delhi, Mar 03 : Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said in a meeting with Industry associations in the capital that the loan waiver provided for the farmers was very much warranted as it was necessary that India should not rely on imported food grains for its requirements.
"The dangerous omen is that we have become marginal food grains importers and we are forced to buy food grains subject to the world prices. A populous country like us cannot afford to be dependent on imports for foodgrains," he said.
He added, "Prices of wheat in the global market have risen by 88 per cent and that of rice by 15 per cent since April 2007."
India, which had surplus food stocks for many years, has been importing food grains in the recent past. If the trend continues, it was feared hat the country would have to import more food grains. The government initiated steps to improve food production and the loan waiver is one of them.
"Taking all this into consideration, we came to the conclusion that by introducing loan waiver, would not only relieve the farmers from debt, but will also boost our agriculture sector and self-sufficiency in food grain production," the Finance Minister said.