BHOPAL: Congress legislators staged a walk out from the state Assembly on Monday demanding the government to waive off loan of the remaining farmers.
The agriculture minister Kamal Patel presented the department budget of Rs 15,191 crore in the Assembly for the approval. Raising the farm loan waiver issue, the Congress MLAs stated that the decision to write off the loan of farmers was taken by the then government and not by any party. The opposition demanded the minister to waive off the loan of farmers who have not got the benefit of the scheme introduced by the erstwhile Kamal Nath government.
While the BJP legislators responded saying that the government would not continue with the scheme, the minister termed the scheme ‘an eye wash’. Congress MLA Sajjan Singh Verma, then stood up and stated that since the minister was not ready to continue with the previous government’s farm loan waiver decision, the Congress MLAs would stage a walk out.
After a while, the Congress legislators returned to the Assembly and again raised the issue. At this the speaker Girish Gautam asked the opposition leaders to let the house proceed with its business since they (Congress MLAs) have already raised the issue and registered their protest.
The former agriculture minister Sachin Yadav, speaking on the department’s budget provisions, said that the government had allocated only Rs 3000 for loan waive off scheme.
The MLA said that because of new Agriculture laws the state Krishi Mandis were facing a financial crisis. “The Mandi used to earn Rs 220 crore but now the earning has dropped to Rs 150 crore. The Mandi board is facing serious issues in running the mandis,” said the former minister.
Jitu Patwari sought reply on the unanswered questions related to the agriculture department. The former minister claimed that around 400 questions were asked in the assembly, of these 23 per cent were related to agriculture and the answer of 70 per cent of these was ‘information collection is under process’.In the last 10 years the farmers number has dropped to 27 per cent and the land less labour figure has increased to 36 per cent, said Patwari, adding that ‘This is the scene of the profitable farming in the state’.
BJP MLA Bahadur Singh Chouhan asked the government to bring marginal and small farmers under crop insurance scheme as it would bring benefit to 86 per cent of the farmers.
Farmers’ income has grown manifolds: Bhargava
During the discussion on the farmers’ income, PWD minister Gopal Bhargava cited a discussion held in the Parliament between the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Ram Manohar Lohia. “Lohia ji had then said that the farmer earned three Anna and if we compared it with their earnings today, the farmers are getting at least Rs 10,000 per year. Rs 6000 from PM-Kisan and Rs 4000 from Chief Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna. In this sense the income of the farmers had grown manifolds,” he stated.
MLAs demand more budget allocation for PWD
The water resources minister Tulsi Silawat presented the department's budget in the House. The legislators of Congress, as well as ruling BJP demanded more budget allocation for the department. Former minister Brijendra Singh Rathore stated “Water is of prime importance for the people of the state, it is required for irrigation, running industries, and more importantly for drinking purpose and so on and thus more budget allocation is required.” The legislators asked the minister to formulate policy to increase the water capacity of water reservoirs and desilting of dams, lakes and ponds. The minister will give his reply in Assembly on Tuesday.