Advani promises pragmatic measures to revive agricultureJanuary 13th, 2009 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The relief package for farmers announced by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had not worked, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani said Tuesday, promising a more “far-reaching” agricultural policy if his party came to power.”If elected to office, a future BJP-led government will take the most far-reaching policy and pragmatic measures to revive Indian agriculture,” Advani told farmers at an interaction held at his residence.
“The many relief packages announced by the UPA government have clearly not worked, since farmers’ suicides have continued in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, both of which have Congress and Congress-led governments,” Advani said.
Citing the examples of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, he said the two states, ruled by Congress and Congress led governments, had failed to check the farmers’ suicide.
“In Andhra Pradesh, handloom weavers too have committed suicide in recent months,” Advani, who is the prime ministerial candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), added.
“What can be a greater tragedy than to see that tens of thousands of distressed farmers in India have committed suicide? Has such a horrible tragedy happened in any other country in the world? No,” he said.
“This is a totally unacceptable situation.”
If the NDA came to power, Advani said, “public spending in agriculture, which has dropped drastically since 1990s, will be stepped up massively”.
“We shall also initiate revolutionary new measures to promote agriculture-based value-addition industries in rural areas. Development of rural infrastructure - roads, power, irrigation, storage facilities, etc. - will receive massive fillip.”
The previous NDA government, he said, had already shown its commitment by launching the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the biggest rural roads construction programme since independence.
“If agriculture is properly promoted, it is capable of producing the largest number of productive employment opportunities than any other single sector of the economy.”
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