Sonia Gandhi announces huge farm credit

April 5th, 2008 - 8:14 pm ICT by admin  

Karaikkudi (Tamil Nadu), April 5 (IANS) Additional credit worth Rs.280,000 crores (Rs.2.8 trillion) would be made available to farmers during the next fiscal, Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced here Saturday. Addressing a huge rally in this small town of palaces owned by the prosperous Chettiar community of merchants located 400 km south of Chennai, the Congress leader reeled off statistics to differentiate between the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s farm policies.

“When the NDA was in power, credit for farmers was only to the extent of Rs.83,000 crores (Rs.830 billion). But the UPA government raised it to Rs.2,40,000 crores (Rs.2.4 trillion) (during the current fiscal) and this will go up to Rs.2,80,000 crores next year,” she said.

The Congress-led UPA government had also announced a Rs.600 billion package in the budget to waive loans for an estimated 40 million farmers, reeling under the burden of debt.

While she praised the Tamil Nadu government as “the most progressive one which had reduced interests on farm loans to four percent annually,” Gandhi exhorted her party’s cadre to work in a united manner “to usher in the Kamaraj rule again” in the state.

By wishing the multitude on the occasion of the Tamil New Year that falls on April 14, she also paid a left-handed compliment to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who had announced earlier this year that henceforth Pongal (harvest festival) would herald every the new Tamil calendar.

Addressing her first solo public meeting in Tamil Nadu, Gandhi did not comment on Tamil Nadu’s water project at Hogenakkal that has been opposed by the neighbouring Karnataka.

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