BHOPAL : The government might be claiming that it has been moving heaven and earth for the welfare of the farmers for the past 12 years; but the fact that it is the Mandsaur firing on farmers that goaded it into taking pro-peasant decisions at an ultrafast pace. As many as 100 decisions have been taken since then and the government has even got a booklet printed to reach out these decisions to the farmers. The idea is to refurbish the government’s image in the farming community.
After the Mandsaur firing, the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BJP leadership and the bureaucracy sensed that there was deep resentment among the farmers against the state government and that it was growing by the day. The BJP might have blamed the Congress for triggering the violence that led to the cops opening fire on agitating farmers; but the party knew in its heart of hearts that the farmers were angry with the government.
What followed was a slew of measures, including price deficit reimbursement scheme, campaign for timely disposal of pending revenue cases and the decision to give permanent power connections to the farmers. Since the agitation, the Agriculture Cabinet, which did not meet for months to end, started meeting every week. The government has now decided to come out with a scheme for extending loans on liberal terms for the wards of farmers. They will get a loan of up to Rs 2 crore for establishing food processing units.
The government, of course, is also eyeing the assembly elections due next year. The party’s popularity among the farmers was one important reason why it could manage to win assembly elections in a row. And the party and the government want to ensure that the farmers continue to view them in a favourable light.
Decisions highlighted in booklet
- Price deficit reimbursement scheme
- Creation of Rs 1000-cr Price Stabilisation Fund
- Establishment of Agricultural Produce Cost and Marketing Commission.
- Procurement of Urad, Arhar, Moong and Masoor
- Purchase of onions at the rate of Rs 8 per kg
- Disposal of all pending undisputed cases of mutation, demarcation and transfer of land within three months.
- Kisan Bazars in all urban civic bodies
- Converting temporary connections for irrigation pumps to permanent ones.
- Three lakh new Kisan Credit Cards issued in 100 days.
- Samadhan Yojana to help defaulter farmers repay short-term loans
- Short-term crop loan to be given in one installment.