India is not soft but tolerant state: Chidambram

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Jalandhar, May 18 (UNI) Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today maintained that India was not a '' soft state but a tolerant country where there is respect for human rights and the law of the land prevailed.'' ''India is not a soft state but we are tolerant. Our respect for human rights and law of the land should not be mistaken as softness,'' he said while speaking at the 98th distribution function of the Shaheed Parivar Fund, organised by the Hind Samachar Group of newspapers here.

A financial help of Rs 16.80 lakh was given to 112 terrorism-hit families at the function.

Refering to the serial bombs blasts in Jaipur, The Union Minister said every country feared terrorist threat these days, as terrorists have no religion or nationality. All those who believe in the values of democracy and peace should stand up against terrorism and fight this menace unitedly, he added.

''We must not fear terrorism but should stand up against it just as we did in Punjab,'' he said.

The Minister took the opportunity to thank the farmers of the state for contributing the maximum wheat and paddy to the Central pool. In this he refered to the procurement of wheat in Punjab.

The Union Government has earmarked a sum of Rs 25,000 crore in the form of Krishi Vikas Yojna to encourage horticulture and organic farming, for producing high quality seeds and fertilizers, upgradaton of irrigation system and building of godowns in the country, the Minister said.

For the betterment of the farmers, the government was providing crop loan at the rate of seven per cent, Mr Chidambram said, adding that by June 30 this year, Rs 60,000 crore worth loan of the farmers would be waved off.

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