New Delhi: Opposition parties on Monday slammed the government for ignoring the interests of farmers and said funds allocated in the general Budget for agriculture ministry were not sufficient.
Participating in the debate on demands for grants for the agriculture ministry, Rewati Raman Singh (SP) said farmers in Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka were committing suicide despite the loan waiver announced by the Centre.
He claimed children of farmers were not ready to take up the profession and were ready to work as peons.
Singh said while 58% of country’s population was involved in agriculture and related activities, the government has neglected the farmers.
He said in the absence of cold storage facilities, 40% of fruits and vegetables were getting damaged.
The SP member suggested that the government set up bio-fertiliser plants in both public and private sector to help farmers get sufficient fertilisers.
He also demanded a ‘white paper’ on the condition of agriculture sector in the country.
Vijay Bahadur Singh (BSP) lamented that while 62% of the population was dependent on agriculture, the budgetary provisions were a mere 1%. “For 62% people you provide only 1%, and for the rest 38% the allocation is 99%,” he added.
Singh alleged the Centre had not given due attention to Uttar Pradesh while setting up new power plants and blamed bureaucrats for not framing agriculture policies to benefit the farmers. “The bureaucrats are only concerned with sensex, stock markets and five stars,” he added.
Rajiv Ranjan Singh (JD-U) said farming was no more a profitable business and the youth today were leaving for cities in search of jobs.
He demanded that the notification from the centre linking sugar and ethanol production in Bihar be scrapped immediately, as it affected the livelihood of the people involved in the sector.
JD-U chief Sharad Yadav wanted to know why the “anti-people” notification on ethanol was issued.
Sakthi Mohan Malik (CPI-M) said two lakh farmers had committed suicide in the last two decades.
Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) said the Budget speech of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee talked about Indian economy’s resilience in the wake of the economic meltdown.
Stating that agriculture is still a gamble, he said about 400 irrigation projects worth Rs2 lakh crore was still waiting to be completed.
H D Kumaraswamy (JDS) said indebtedness of farmers was increasing day by day and demanded a comprehensive plan for revival and rejuvenation of agriculture in the country.
He also sought a one-time waiver of all the loans of farmers and plantation workers.