NCP demands legislation to allay farmers' distress
Dehradun, Sep 17: The Third National Convention of the Nationalist Congress Party, headed by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, today demanded a legislation on the lines of the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act 1947 to help the farmers in a big way in the hour of their distress.
''Under the Act, the courts have the power to compound the farmers debts. Such a law should provide that once the farmer has paid more than 125 per cent of the debt amount, the debt shall be deemed to have been extinguished,'' a resolution on the economic situation adopted at the NCP Convention said.
The resolution, moved by Mr Y P Trivedi, said the NCP was of the opinion that the Government should come forward and ensure that farmers be provided with loans at the minimum rate of interest.
The resolution demanded that investment in agriculture, horticulture and irrigation must be stepped up. Schemes have to be evolved for the farm sector on easier and farmer-friendly terms.
Lauding the role of its party supreme as the Agriculture Minister, the resolution said Mr Pawar had taken a number of policy initiatives and started a number of innovative schemes in agriculture, horticulture, animal resources development and other sectors.
The resolution called for effective steps at all levels to arrest the price rise. Describing agriculture as the mainstay of India's economy and society, it called upon farmers for taking steps to sustain agriculture.
It attributed farmer's suicides in the last few years to their increasing debt caused by heavy rates of interest and unhelpful attitude of financial institutions.
According to the resolution, natural calamities took a heavy toll. The impact of the disasters could be contained only through people's participation and this could be ensured at the grassroot level.