Loan Waivers Not Enough, Don't Treat Farmers Like Minority Vote Bank: RSS-Backed Kisan Sangh
Mohini Mohan, national secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (an affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) said that there were also loopholes in the governments' loan waiver announcements.
image for representation. (Reuters)
New Delhi: As state governments compete to waive loans ahead of 2019 elections, RSS-backed Bharatiya Kisan Sangh said that the waivers have become a kind of 'appeasement policy', which “won't reap benefits like the minority vote bank”.
Recently, the BJP government in Assam had approved Rs 600 crore farm loan waiver, while Gujarat's Vijay Rupani government announced a decision to waive electricity bills of connection holders in rural areas.
The newly formed Congress governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh also announced to waive farm loans, following which Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "It’s done! Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have waived farm loans. We asked for 10 days. We did it in 2."
Mohini Mohan, national secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (an affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), said, "Farm loan waiver is not a solution like the appeasement policies practiced by political parties. It has never given good results. The recent announcements reek of this kind of policy. The way politicians try to win over Muslims, they are trying to do the same with us. But it will not work.
Reiterating what Niti Aayog had earlier stated, Mohan said, "We have not learnt from the past instances where farmers were given farm loan waivers but it did not ameliorate their situation."
He added that there were also loopholes in the governments' loan waiver announcements. "Like in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadanavis announced the farm loan waiver but it did not take off as well as it was planned. There have been loopholes in coordination and planning," the farmer leader said.
Citing Telangana's and Madhya Pradesh's example, Mohan said, "The top priority should be to provide input subsidy to the farmers. "In 2016, Telangana government announced that all land-owning farmers in the state would get Rs 4,000 per acre to help them with costs like fertilizers and seeds as part of their input subsidy scheme. Similarly in MP, Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana has been able to address the problem of price procurement."
Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana is a scheme that compensated farmers if market prices for farm produce fell below support prices.
The farmer leader concluded by saying that like the government of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, ministers should offer "zero percent interest loans".
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