Thanjavur: Farmers of Cauvery delta districts expressed disappointment over the union budget presented by Dr Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance minister in Parliament on Friday.
The budget has no major announcements for farmers said P.R. Pandian, coordinator of the Anaithu Vivasaya Sangangalin Orunginaippu Kuzhu. In a press release he said that though the Finance minister thanked farmers for achieving self sufficiency in food grain production, she has not addressed many of their issues.
“At a time when farmers' suicides due to debt burden are on the increase, farmers expected some announcements on loan waiver or other reliefs. There is no announcement on price for agriculture produce based on the recommendations of National Commission for Agriculture headed by M.S. Swaminathan. There is no mention about linking of rivers, new irrigation projects,” said Pandian.
V.Jeevakumar, a farmer from Budalur and district vice-president of All India Kisan Sabah said that “We are happy to hear reference of our Purananooru poem by the Finance minister in her budget speech. But we (farmers) were disappointed because of not mentioning about implementation of M.S. Seaminathan committee recommendation on fixation of prices for agriculture produce. Budget is silent on loan waiver and effective implementation of Supreme court order on Cauvery.”
S. Ranganathan, secretary, Cauvery delta farmers' welfare association also appreciated the Finance minister for quoting from 'Purananooru'. He said that existing tax structure has not been tampered with in the budget. Though some announcements had been made for Medium and small scale industries, there is no major announcement for agriculture. A pragmatic crop insurance scheme is the need of the hour and it should be implemented by government-owned insurance companies. “There is an announcement that 10,000 new farmer producer organisations will be formed. This is welcome,” Ranganathan said.
Sami Nadarajan, Tamil Nadu Vivasayaigal Sangam affiliated to CPI(M) said that minimum support price announced for paddy itself was very less i.e. only 65 paise for kilo. In such a situation, union budget also has nothing to offer for farmers. There is no announcement about loan wavier or about irrigation projects. “Farmers are disappointed,” he said.
N.V. Kannan, district secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam affiliated to CPI(M) said that agriculture and farmers have been given a raw deal in the budget.
P. Maniarasan, Coordinator of Cauvery Urimai Meetpu Kuzhu said that centre should create export market for agriculture produce instead of talking about imports.
“Government says we are surplus in food grains. Then, proper export market should be created so that farmers may get profits for his produce. Price should be profitable for farmers instead of talking about only remunerative price. Government has increased only 65 paise per kilo for paddy in its MSP. Moreover, Centre should implement schemes only through state governments instead of directly doing it.
“They are talking about national water grid. But they could not make Karnataka to release due share of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu”, said Maniarasan. “In toto, this l budget is like a paper flower without fragrance”, he added....