BJP calls for low interest loans for farmers

February 20th, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by admin  

Bhopal, Feb 20 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh Wednesday called for loans to farmers at four percent interest, and said that economy of the country would improve only if farmers had enough money. Addressing a ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ (farmers’ mega rally) here, Rajnath said the development of the country was not possible if the farmers remained hungry. About 75 percent of the country’s population lived in the villages and it was the duty of the government to take care of them.

“Had the successive governments taken care of farmers in 60 years of independence, they would have been much better off,” he said.

The BJP leader said if the farming community of the country was weak, the agriculture production would also decline and the economy of the country would be in despair.

“Several steps were taken for the betterment of the farming community during my tenure as agriculture minister and many more were in the pipeline but by the time they could be implemented, the tenure of the government was over,” he added.

Rajnath demanded that the central government should start crop insurance scheme to provide strength to the farmers. He also said the farmers’ committing suicide in several parts of the country was only due to the negligent attitude of the government.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced several sops for the farmers in this election year. The sops would cost Rs.56 billion to the state exchequer.

Some of the important announcements the chief minister made during the mahapanchayat included: providing power to farmers at the rate of 75 paisa per unit instead of Rs.1.20 per unit, facility to pay power bills twice a year at the time of sowing, and waiving off of all penalties on farmers.

The chief minister also said the interest rate on all cooperative loans would be reduced from seven percent to five percent from April 1, 2008,

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