Sops to ryots in Cong manifesto for MP

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Bhopal, Nov 19 (UNI) Announcing sops for farmers in its manifesto released here today for the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, the Congress promised free power for irrigation pumps upto 5 horsepower and interest-free agricultural loans.

Peasants' disputed electricity bills would be waived and adequate three-phase power supplied during crop seasons. The document also promised to withdraw those cases that were registered against ryots during BJP rule. Sugar mills would be set up at suitable places while steps would be taken to remove hurdles in sale of agricultural products.

The ambit of the crop insurance scheme would be enhanced and the loan ceiling for cultivators repaying loans for three years or more would be enhanced by 50 per cent.

In order to increase small farmers' produce, subsidised seeds would be sold and stop-dams built for expanding irrigation.

Irrigation facilities would also be expanded after earmarking drought-prone areas and compensation increased to those peasants whose crops were destroyed in natural calamities. Pending irrigation schemes would be completed and a special action plan implemented to expand irrigated area.

A scheme of distributing barren, waste and ravine land to landless ryots would be introduced and by forming an authority the land would be converted into agricultural land. Additional aid would be provided to cultivators who were producing vegetables with help of bio-fertiliser and bio-insecticides.

Farmers would be provided interest-free loans after giving cards of Rs 25,000 credit limit on the basis of cultivated land and a plan chalked out to provide financial help to small farmers who cultivate with bullocks. Agriculture markets would be given rights vis-a-vis facilities for peasants in those areas.

UNI BDG AC 1848

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