Tamil Nadu budget 2019-20: Farmers expectations in budget belied

With Gaja cyclone devastating the delta districts, what the farmers expected was loan waiver.

Thanjavur: More than the sops announced by Deputy Chief Minister in the state budget 2019-20, what the farmers expected were some policy decisions to protect environment and food security.

But their expectations were belied, as there were no major announcements, and hence, many farmers said that the budget was disappointing.

With Gaja cyclone devastating the delta districts, what the farmers expected was loan waiver.

"Nothing has been mentioned about this, while the government had said that it would give crop loans to a tune of Rs 10,000 crore. Farmers are to be rehabilitated and need reconstruction in Gaja-affected areas," said farmers' leader P.R. Pandian.

Farmers have been agitating against the proposed hydrocarbon projects in the delta, as they feel that they would jeopardise the environment and cultivation. But the government has not said anything about it in the budget.

"The government should have made its stand clear like former chief minister Jayalalitha who permanently banned proposed Methane project," said Pandian.

"The government has tried to woo farmers as the Lok Sabha elections are nearing. But nothing is new. Enhancing allotment of funds to various departments is not enough. The government should have addressed the issues of environment and food security," said V. Jeevakumar, a farmer from Budalur, 20 kms from Thanjavur.

Though the government has allotted funds for kudimaramathu this year, many farmers complain that it was not implemented properly last year, and allege swindling of funds by officials and politicians.

"The entire premium amount for crop insurance should be borne by the government, doing away with farmers' share," they said.

However, S. Ranganathan, secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association welcomed giving farmers ten HP motors using solar power for agriculture pump-sets.

He also sought declaring a five-year holiday for sand-mining, as silt levels in rivers have gonedown.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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