"Complete loan waiver needed"
Enhanced funding for loan waiver will not work: Vidarbha farmers
"Government has intentionally limited scope"
"We have been demanding minimum food security, health care and rural employment or direct subsidy to distressed farmers to check the suicides but nobody is ready to even look at these demands," Mr. Tiwari said.
MUMBAI: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's announcement of expanding the farmers' loan waiver from Rs. 60,000 crore to Rs. 71,000 crore will not help the three million suicide-prone cotton growers of Vidharbha and therefore, complete loan waiver is needed, the Vidharbha Jan Andolan Samiti has said.
The enhanced funding for the loan waiver would not work since the two hector cap and the cut of date had not been extended. The farmers who would not be covered by the loan waiver would continue to be in financial burden , Samiti leader Kishor Tiwari said in a statement on Friday.
"In fact there has been a sudden rise in farm suicides among the Vidharbha cotton growers after the loan waiver announcement, since majority of the farmers hold more than two hectors and hence their farm loans do not get written off," he said.
The Union government, he added, did not consider the Maharashtra government's proposal and Rahul Gandhi's suggestion of expanding the loan waiver to cover the dry-land farmers of Vidharbha and Andhra Pradesh.
He alleged that the government intentionally limited the scope so that the farm waiver could benefit prosperous farmers of Western Maharashtra. "We have been demanding minimum food security, health care and rural employment or direct subsidy to distressed farmers to check the suicides but nobody is ready to even look at these demands," Mr. Tiwari said.
He urged the UPA government to write off completely the cotton growers' debts, restore advance bonus and pay the price of Rs. 2,700 per quintal as promised in the UPA manifesto.
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