Members in LS for speedy aid, loan waiver to help farmers

Members in LS for speedy aid, loan waiver to help farmersNEW DELHI: Cutting across party lines, members in the Lok Sabha today voiced concern over losses caused by unseasonal rains and hailstorms to the farm sector and demanded expeditious assistance to farmers in distress and a loan waiver scheme to help them.

Several members suggested that the Centre should intervene in the process of procurement of foodgrains which is rotting in mandis due to indifferent attitude of the state governments, especially of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Raising the issue in Zero Hour, Jagdambika Pal (BJP) said that because of tardy procurement of wheat, farmers were going in for distress sale of their produce at throw away prices.

“UP government should be directed to purchase wheat at Minimum Support Price (MSP) from farmers,” he added.

Bhagwant Mann (AAP) regretted that wheat was rotting in the mandis of Punjab as the state government did not make proper arrangements for procurement of wheat.

“Farmers are sitting helplessly in mandis waiting for government agencies to buy wheat,” he said.

Babulal Choudhary (BJP) demanded that the government should come out with a loan waiver scheme for farmers whose crops had been damaged.

He also suggested that a compensation of Rs 10 lakh should be given to the family of farmers who had committed suicide in view of crisis.

Dushyant Chautala (INLD) suggested that government should set up Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund (ADRF) with a corpus of Rs 250 crore to provide immediate relief to farmers whose crops had been damaged from natural calamities.

Some members also suggested that government should come out with a liberal crop insurance scheme and consider a loan waiver scheme to help the farmers in distress.

A few members from Uttar Pradesh expressed concern over non-payment of cane arrears by mill-owners and asked the centre government to intervene in the matter to ensure that immediate relief was provided to the farmers.

Unseasonal rains and hailstorms during February-March damaged crops over 93.81 lakh hectares in several states including Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.–PTI

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