Mumbai, July 8 (IANS) Maharashtra farmers’ panel chief Kishore Tiwari on Saturday demanded a special long-term package of Rs 40,000 crore from the NITI Aayog to resolve the agrarian crisis in the state’s suicide-prone regions.
Speaking at the NITI Aayog’s consultation meeting, Tiwari provided details of the plight of Maharashtra farmers which has recorded the highest rate of farmland suicides in the world in the past few years.
During the meeting presided over by NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand, he pointed out that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and NABARD have already shifted responsibility of bearing the burden of loan waivers to different states and asked them to mobilise their own resources which could create a new era of fiscal mismanagement.
In this context, he urged the NITI Aayog for urgent intervention by a special package, which would provide a long-term sustainable solution for farmers especially in the state’s suicide-prone areas.
Tiwari informed the NITI Aayog that though farm loan waivers are necessary as a temporary measure to revive farming, they don’t provide conditions for a secure credit system in the long-term.
“Banks would have to be compensated by the government for the loan waiver amount, implying that huge amounts that could have been used for strengthening the agricultural infrastructure will not be available. Hence, the need for a long-term farm credit system via a special package,” he said.
Tiwari justified that this was all the more urgent in view of the erratic monsoon on which large rain-fed areas are solely dependent and the recurring droughts in the past few years which have driven the farmers to suicide.
The meeting was attended by Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Minister Suryapratap Shahi, Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission chairman Prakash Kammardi, Punjab’s Ajay Jakhar, Haryana’s Rameshkumar Yadav, Rajasthan’s Tanvarlal Jat and Madhya Pradesh’s Ishwarlalji Patidar.