Rahul Gandhi wants changes in loan waiver scheme

March 13th, 2008 - 4:35 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Congress MP and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi suggested in Parliament Thursday that there should not be one landholding ceiling to choose farmers whose loans the government proposes to waive, nor should there be a single cut-off date for the loan waiver scheme. Rahul’s speech in the Lok Sabha Thursday, which touched upon the salient features of the budget and included a number of suggestions, was heard with rapt attention.

Stating that the land ceiling fixed at two hectares in the budget for the loan waiver for poor farmers should be changed, he said: “Land ceiling should be variable on the basis of land productivity”.

Rahul also suggested that the cut-off date of June 30 for all farm loan waivers was unfair. “A single cut-off date will unfairly penalise the farmers. A localised cut-off date should be considered,” he said, inviting a round of applause.

“There are two distinct voices in India today. One of the voices is easier heard… There is another voice. It is a deeper voice. It is not as loud… These people are no different from those doing well. They ask only to be given a voice,” Rahul said, referring to those who have the potential but did not get the opportunity.

“Our policy is not to choose (between the two worlds) but to nurture them together,” he said.

The young MP also mentioned the achievements made through the Right to Information Act, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), Bharat Nirman, Mid-Day Meal scheme and other government schemes for the people.

On NREGS, he said: “Freedom to work is not a charity but a right”.

He also lauded the budget allocations for education and health. Complimenting the prime minister and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for a budget for “aam aadmi” (common man), he praised the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, steps for strengthening Panchayati Raj (local self government) institutions and other schemes.

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