Friday, March 25, 2011

Maharashtra budget ignores debt-ridden farmers in Vidarbha-PTI

Maharashtra budget ignores debt-ridden farmers in Vidarbha: NGO
Published: Friday, Mar 25, 2011, 14:35 IST
Place: NAGPUR | Agency: PTI

1-12 budget presented by Maharashtra finance minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday has ignored about 3 million debt-trapped cotton farmers as state owned debt touched Rs2,31,000crore during the 2010-11 fiscal, an NGO has alleged.
As three million cotton farmers have lost cotton crop this year, it was expected that the state would address the on going agrarian crisis and will give a bailout package as the earlier relief packages were disappointing," the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), which works for the welfare of farmers, said in a release issued in Nagpur.
"However, the state has failed to give much awaited food security and health security to dying cotton farmers and over 10,000 farm widows and family members of famers who committed suicide since 2005. This is much more disturbing," VJAS president Kishore Tiwari said.

"We welcome the decision to give zero per cent crop loan up to Rs50,000 and two percent interest up to Rs3lakh but this facility can be availed by the farmers who are regular with banks.
"Hence, in order to extend this facility to debt trapped farmers facing crop failure since 2009-10 in Vidarbha, the VJAS has been demanding a bailout package for those who are not covered by state-owned banks and are forced to take loans from local money-lenders and private MFIs," he said.

The VJAS also flayed the announcement of creating irrigation facility in another two lakh hector land of the state saying that there was already a backlog of irrigation projects in Vidarbha, for which over Rs60,000crore were required.

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