Farmer no fool, govts should put the money where the mouth is

Agriculture Minister wants cheaper credit, not loan waivers

Latest news : All along the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, a couple of things stood out during my two-day trip to the region in the midst of the state-wide farmers’ agitation.

First, unlike our common perception, farmers today are highly informed and well versed about their rights, government schemes and programmes. So, they would not shy away from claiming their due, be it from the district administration, state or Centre.

The agitation that spread across Madhya Pradesh and has been gathering strength since June 1 is also on account of many unfulfilled promises of both the Central and State governments.

The immediate cause, though, is sharp crash in prices of all major commodities grown in the region, but there also is growing anger against tardy implementation of programmes and unfulfillment of promises both by the Centre and state.

More than the promises, it’s there tardy implementation that is hurting the rural population more.

Central and state schemes look good on paper but when it comes to actual implementation many things are still riddled with inefficiency and corruption.

In fact, as a farmer told Business Standard, the Central government has enhanced the allocation for building houses under the Prime Minister’s Rural Housing Scheme from Rs 75,000 per unit to over Rs 1,20,000 per unit, but the local patwari or other block official demand a cut before approving the unit for central allocation.

In the Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana, farmers said that the compensation paid is much less than the total premium collected which gives rise to the suspicion that the entire programme is being run to benefit insurance companies.

A delegation of Swaraj Abhiyan which tried reaching Mandsaur but was prevented from doing so by the district administration found that in Madhya Pradesh banks deduct their loan installment from savings account of farmers as soon as payment is received in them through mandis.(READ MORE)

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