Bhopal: Want loan waiver or remunerative prices?

Bhopal: Shaken by the violent and aggressive farmers’ protest in the state last month, the state government has embarked upon a massive damage-control exercise.  On Friday, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan interacted with farmers at a marathon session lasting over three hours. The venue was State Institute for Agriculture Extension and Training (SIAET), at Barkhedi Kalan on Bhadbhadha Road. Four farmers from each district had been summoned for the meet and the objective was to secure first-hand information on agriculture-related problems from them.

After hearing out the farmers, Chouhan said the opposition was pressing for loan waiver. He asked the farmers to choose between remunerative prices for their produce or waiver of farm loans. Chouhan said from next year onwards, the government would seriously work on ensuring that farmers got remunerative prices for their produce.

He said the difference between the market price of pulses and the appropriate price decided by the government would be credited to the accounts of the farmers. He said this would not be possible vis-à-vis vegetables but would be done in case of pulses.

He said for quick disposal of revenue matters, the government would ensure that the disposal of demarcation cases is expedited. He said copies of ‘khasras’ (extracts from the land ownership details maintained by patwaris) would be distributed from door-to-door. Instead of temporary, permanent power connections would be provided to the farmers, the CM said. On the issue of poor quality insecticides, he said companies selling such products would be banned.

Chouhan said farmers were and would remain the priority of his government. He said the government had done a lot for them and would continue to work for their welfare. He said solutions to problems raised by the farmers would be worked out.

Agri dept fleecing us, say farmers

In their interaction with the CM, the farmers vented their anger against the government. They said poor quality insecticides were being supplied to them. If the produce would be of poor quality how could they expect good prices for it, they wanted to know. They said what was available for Rs 500 in the market was being sold for Rs 700 by the agriculture department. Some farmers said the seeds being supplied to them were of low quality.

They said they had to run from pillar to post for obtaining copies of khasra and have to face innumerable problems in getting work related with revenue department done. They also raised the issue of not getting adequate power supply. He said their complaints regarding faulty or non-working transformers were not redressed for days.

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