Agri Nation Network
New Delhi | 19 July 2017
During a heated discussion in Lok Sabha on agrarian crisis, the opposition accused the government of being insensitive towards farmers’ issues. It sought loan waiver, better minimum support price and criminal cases against those responsible for death of farmers during the agitation in Madhya Pradesh recently.
Beginning the discussion, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia raised the issue of farmers’ suicides increasing under the present government. He said, “This government is not sensitive towards the issues of farmers. PM Narendra Modi immediately tweets at global disasters but he has not tweeted anything on the killings of farmers in Mandsaur. Even the agriculture minister has not visited Mandsaur as he was busy doing yoga with Ramdev baba”.
He also came down heavily on government for failing to ensure remunerative prices to farmers. He reminded Bharatiya Janata Party’s poll promise of 2014 general elections of fixing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural produce at 1.5 times the input cost to farmers. He also wanted to know whether the government would grant loan waiver to the farmers.
In the reply to Lok Sabha, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh informed that 11,458 farmers had committed suicide in 2016.
He said, “According to National Crime Records Bureau data for 2016, which is yet to be published, 11,458 farmers committed suicide. In 2015, the number was 12,602”.
He also added, “Farmers suicides can be prevented only by enhancing their income including increase in budgetary allocations to the agriculture sector. Government has taken various measures to double their income by 2022 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was himself monitoring this endeavor”.
On loan waiver and M S Swaminathan recommendations, BJP MP from Bhadohi & President of BJP Kisan Morcha, Virendra Singh said “Swaminathan is not ‘Brahma’ (God). As a farmer, I too have not agreed to all his recommendations. Farm loan waiver is not a permanent solution. We need to find ways so that farmers cannot become indebtors”.
Virendra Singh demanded a special session of Parliament to discuss all the issues of farmers.
Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) said that farmer killing and suicides have become a national issue today.
BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab said, “There is unrest throughout the country. Promises made for farmers should be fulfilled. Farmers are feeling cheated and betrayed after demonetization”.