New Delhi, June 4 (UNI) Hundreds of farmers from Punjab today staged a march to Parliament protesting against 'faulty' loan waiver scheme of the government, that would not cover a large number of indebted farmers and left loans raised from private money lenders beyond its purview.
Protesting farmers carrying banners and placards were stopped by heavy police posse at Jantar Mantar, where they held a rally demanding that the operation of private money lenders should also be regulated, restricting them not to charge more than four per cent interest on the farm loans.
Speaking at the rally, jointly organised by BKU (Ekta) and Kissan Sangarsh Committee (KSC), Peoples Democratic Front of India (PDFI) leader B D Sharma, a renowned intellectual working for peasantry, said, ''The old Indian practice -- peasant is born in debt and dies under its weight -- should not be allowed to prevail now. The ancient practice of 'Dam-dupat' be made applicable under which the farmers are not charged compound interest and made to repay only double of the principal amount of loan.'' However, the money lenders were charging 40 per cent of interest, he added.
PDFI convenor Darshan Pal said the Rs 71,000 crore odd loan waiver should be reshaped to cover all the farmers under debt and the government should not encourage the companies and big business to go in for contract farming.
BKU president Balkar Singh Dakaunda sought the raising to Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy at Rs 1,250 a quintal and that of raw cotton at Rs 4,000 a quintal.
Other BKU leaders Buta Singh Burj Gill and Satnam Pannu from KSC said the cause in indebtedness of the farmer sector was the rise in cost of production and low rate of MSP for crops.
At the same time, BKU spokesman Jagmohan said the government should link the cost of production with the global prices while ensuring a hefty sum of profit on the sale price of the produce.
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