No difference with PM on loan waiver to farmers: Pawar

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New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI) Agriculture Minister Sharat Pawar today denied that he had differences with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram on budgetary loan waiver to farmers, saying all decisions are taken collectively.

''There is no difference of opinion with the Prime Minister, and the Finance Minister regarding loan waiver to farmers... All decision, including the Budget, are taken collectively,'' he told the Rajya Sabha in reply to a supplementary about the difference on Budget decisions.

The Minister said the Government is not contemplating a separate agriculture budget on the lines of Railway Budget.

''Agriculture is linked with the Ministries of Power, Water , Irrigation, Rural Development and Finance and it is impossible to bring all of these under one ministry. Therefore we can not have a separate Agriculture Budget,'' Mr Pawar said in reply to Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi's question.

On how the Ministry coordinates with departments of Agriculture of states in implementation of policy, the Minister said Agriculture is a state subject and States are responsible for implementation of policy and programmes for its development.

''The Centre supplements their efforts through appropriate financial and policy support... coordination is done through meetings and conferences of states and process of monitoring the implementation of different schemes,'' he added.

He informed the House that at present there are 12 crore farmers in the country and a continuous rise is being registered in their numbers.

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