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Rajnath demands special session for farm crisis

Criticising the government for failing to announce a stimulus package for the agriculture sector,BJP president Rajanth Singh....

Criticising the government for failing to announce a stimulus package for the agriculture sector,BJP president Rajanth Singh on Friday demanded that the government convene a special session of Parliament to discuss problems before the sector.

“The government is promising to launch a second Green Revolution in the country,but,before that please convene a 10 or 15-day special session of Parliament to debate the crisis plaguing agriculture and farmers to debate launching an evergreen revolution instead,” Singh said in the Lok Sabha,initiating the debate on Demands for Grants for Agriculture and Consumer Affairs,Food and Public Distribution Ministries.

Picking out holes in the faltering agricultural extension system,low budgetary allocation for food processing,declining public investment and stagnating agricultural productivity levels,Rajnath demanded reducing the interest rates for loans to farmers to “below four per cent as implemented by (BJP) governments in Madhya Pradesh,Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.”

“There were two stimulus packages by the government before the elections. But,the government did not announce any stimulus package for the agriculture sector,which is the backbone of the country’s economy,” Rajnath lamented. He also urged the government to work towards raising farmers’ capacities to ensure they are able to compete in global markets.

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“The allocation for the food processing sector have been meager. Doesn’t the government want farmers to benefit from the profits accruing from value addition in their agricultural produce… How can our farmers compete in international markets… There is inherent strength in Indian agriculture… The government should have endeavoured towards productivity growth and linking our farmers to global markets,” Singh said in his speech in the Lok Sabha. He said the government should also formulate a long-term plan to manage the vagaries of nature.

“The government should take a policy decision to waive the interest of all farmers in the regions affected by drought or floods,” Singh demanded asking the government to work out a farmers’ income insurance scheme.

First published on: 18-07-2009 at 04:42:46 am
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