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Radha krishan Report on Agriculture debts by Decembeer end:Govt

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Dec 4 (UNI) The Radha Krishan Expert Group will submit its interim report on farmers indebtedness which was forcing the community to commit suicides by December end this year.

Giving this information in the Lok Sabha, while replying to supplementaries, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said the group would submit its final report by May 31, 2007 and the Government would take its decision after receiving the report.

On Dr M S Swaminathan Commission's report on farmers, the Minister said the Government had received the report and would take decisions on it within six months. He said the report was presently being discussed by the Secretaries Committee, following which it would be taken up by the Cabinet.

The Agriculture Minister said majority of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations had already been implemented which included lowering of interest rate on loans from 9 per cent to 7 per cent per annum.

Mr Pawar said with a view to providing financial assistance to the oilseeds and pulses growing states, the Government was implementing a centrally sponsored ''Integrated scheme of oilseeds, pulses, oil palm and maize.'' Under the scheme, financial assistance will be provided on 75:25 basis between the central government and the state governments for purchase of various imports.

The demand supply gap in respect of edible oils was met through imports of 4.17 million tonnes in 2005-06 and 1.61 million tonnes in April to June, 2006 while for pulses, the gap was met through import of 1.61 million tonnes in 2005-06 and 0.43 million tonnes during April to June,2006 he told various questioners.

Mr Pawar admitted a decline in area cultivation for oilseeds. He said the total (Kharif and Rabi) area covered under oilseeds in 2006-07 stood at 23.22 million hectares against 24.95 million hectares the previous year. This, he said, was due to shifting of some oilseeds area to pulse crops on account of less moisture availability in some states.

He also informed that some oilseeds area had shifted to wheat crop due to prevailing high prices of wheat in the market. However, the sowing of rabi oilseeds is in momentum and coverage of more area is envisaged, he said.

UNI KAS Mir HT1340

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