UPA befooled Farmers on Loan Waiver Scheme

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New Delhi, Mar 28 (UNI) Terming the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver announced by the UPA Government as "not more than a political plan" to befool the farming community, the BJP today said the provision of just Rs 10,000 crore in the budget 2008-09 for the purpose had fully exposed the Government.

The party said it had been expressing its reservations over the Rs 60,000 loan waiver announcement made in the Budget 2008-09, as there were no provisions in the Budget. Since now the Government had announced a provision of just Rs 10,000 crore in the budget and left the rest of the amount to be met by the future government over the next five years, "our suspicion over the government's intention has come true." "The government wants to usurp undeserved credit for Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver whereas in reality it has provided only Rs 10,000 crore and left burden on future government to foot the balance bill of Rs 50,000 crore," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

He noted out that 75 farmers from the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra had committed suicide during the last 15 days even after the announcement of loan waiver. It should be a pointer to the government which should understand the reality that the scheme had kept out of its domain 70 per cent of the farmers who had taken loans from the moneylenders. Besides it was not the outstanding loans which are waived out but only overdue loans are covered under the waiver scheme,''he said.

The party meanwhile attributed the present agriculture crisis to the "adhoc" policies being pursued by the Manmohan Singh Government and criticised the recent decisions with regard to export and import policies on various food litems.

While asserting that there would be no let up in the present spree in suicides by farmers unless the government announced remunerative prices for the produce, the party said that the government decision not to increase sugarcane prices and continue with last year's prices was yet another example of such adhocism.

Its dilly-dallying on recommendations of the Commission of Agriculture Cost and Prices about the MSP for this season would cost the government dear, the party cautioned.

It emphasised the need for 4 per cent of interest on agriculture loans, Farm Income Guarantee Insurance Scheme, efficient market linkages, heavy public investment in irrigation and research, control on input cost and wide coverage of institutional credit along storage facility to tide over agrarian crisis.

UNI KAS VD AS1652 I

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