Thank Deve Gowda for farm loan waiver?

February 29th, 2008 - 9:03 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

Bangalore, Feb 29 (IANS) This was one reaction that might stun Finance Minister P. Chidambaram who has announced Rs.600 billion ($15 billion) farm loan waiver in his 2008-09 union budget presented in Parliament Friday. “All credit should go to my father (H.D.) Deve Gowda (former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular president) who has been fighting for the cause of the farmers since so many years,” claimed his son and former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

“After 60 years, the Congress has done something for the farmers and this is just a reflection of my father’s relentless struggle. It is a victory for his crusade for the farmers in the country,” Kumaraswamy said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was Karnataka’s chief minister for only one week late last year, termed the budget as “discriminatory as it caters to only one section of the farmers. The budget gives sops only for those small farmers who have two hectares (or less) land.”

“The finance minister should have ensured a Rs.50,000 loan waiver for farmers irrespective of their land holdings,” he added.

Mallikarjuna Kharge, Karnataka state Congress chief, said: “This is one of the best budgets as it is very farmer friendly.”

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