No proposal to help the sector recover from the crisis: KPRS leader

The separate budget for agriculture, presented for the first time by the State Government, was devoid of any proposal to help the agricultural sector recover from the current crisis and prevent farmer suicides, U. Basavaraj of the Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha has said.

He told The Hindu on Thursday that the BJP Government belied the farmers' expectations of an exclusive budget that would lead to the overall development of the sector. Except for a couple of positive points like bringing down the interest rates on farm loans and allocation of funds for irrigation, the budget failed to address the basic issues and farmers' problems ,he said.

Mr. Basavaraj said that though providing farm loans at 1 per cent interest rate was welcome, the budget should have ensured that the benefits reached all farmers. According to him, farmers who owned less than five acres of land, would continue to be deprived of the facility.He also felt that the budget appeared to favour multinational companies (MNCs).

“The proposal to organise a Global Investors Meet to give a boost to the agricultural sector and also bring in suitable amendment to the land Act, was nothing but rolling out a red carpet for MNCs to invest in the agricultural sector and it would not in any way benefit farmers,” he said.

Land prices

Mr. Basavaraj also said that the budget was silent on the issue of fixing land prices being acquired for industrial purposes .

Claim

“Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani's claim that the compensation given by the Government for one acre of land acquired had enabled farmers to purchase two acres of land is wrong and ridiculous. In Kuditini in Bellary, where the agricultural land has been acquired at Rs. 8 lakh per acre, it has not been possible to acquire a site,” he said.

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