Staff Correspondent

`Farmers expected Chidambaram to solve their problems'

Raichur: The Union budget presented by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday has failed to address the problems faced by farmers and has failed to introduce sops that could have helped safeguard the interests of small and marginal farmers, Chamarasa Malipatil, vice-president of the State unit of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, has said.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, he said farmers expected Mr. Chidambaram to solve the problems being faced by them with respect to marketing of their produce and insurance coverage for all crops.

However, he disappointed farmers by presenting an anti-farmer budget, he said.

He alleged that Mr. Chidambaram had not incorporated any of the suggestions in the budget even after the sangha had presented its 18-point programme through a memorandum in the interest of safeguarding the farmers, especially the farmers with small holdings. In a separate statement here on Friday, A. Vasanthkumar, president of the district unit of the Congress, said Mr. Chidambaram had presented the budget focusing an overall development in the fields of education, health, rural development and uplift of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Welcoming the budget as "pro-people" and "pro-farmer", he said provisions had been made for overall development of agricultural sector by reducing taxes on farm inputs and extension of credits with required subsidy to farmers.