Claiming that agricultural growth under the Narendra Modi government came down to 1.9 per cent, the Congress on Wednesday alleged that it failed to keep its promises of an MSP 50 per cent more than agricultural input cost and a loan waiver for farmers.
The party said that 38,000 farmers committed suicide in three years, which indicated a 35 per cent increase in such suicide committed during Modi government’s rule.
It also urged the government to take concrete steps for farmer welfare in the Union Budget and provide loan waiver to them.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised a minimum support price that was 50 per cent more than the agriculture produce’s cost for farmers. It was mentioned in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto (before the 2014 general elections). But today, we see there is an increase of just Rs 10 or Rs 20 in the MSP. Modi is not talking about it anymore.
“Now, as the 2019 election is coming closer, he is saying we will double the farmer’s income in 2022,” said Congress Spokesperson R.P.N. Singh.
“A farmer’s input cost is going up; you can see the diesel rate going up to Rs 60.66 in Delhi. Through taxes, the government has earned Rs 1.6 lakh crore. In three-and-half years, the government has earned more than Rs 9 lakh crore from petrol and diesel taxes.
“Why is this money not being given to the farmers,” Singh asked.
Singh said the average agricultural growth for 10 years during earlier United Progressive Alliance rule was 4 per cent. “In October 2017, a report said it has reduced to 1.9 per cent,” the Congress leader said.
“In 2013, rural wages recorded a 17.6 per cent growth, but this year it was 6.6 per cent. Farm loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh was a farce. During the UPA rule, we gave Rs 77,000 crore as loan waiver to farmers.
“Forget about loan waiver, the Centre has not even waived a single rupee of the farmers but have benefitted the corporates with more than Rs 1.30 lakh crore waiver,” he added.
Singh said under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, only big players have benefitted and not the small and poor farmers.
“In Madhya Pradesh, bullets are being fired at the farmers; they are being beaten up in Rajasthan; and most farmer suicides are in Maharshtra.
“The potato farmers in Uttar Pradesh, out of compulsion, dumped their produce in front of government offices and state assembly to protest,” he added.