Farmers of delta region disappointed

“No mention of drought in the State”

Farmers organisations of the district have expressed disappointment over the Union Budget and accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of neglecting the drought situation and the plight of farmers in Tamil Nadu.

“Drought-hit farmers have long been demanding the waiver of all crop loans sanctioned by nationalised banks. But the Budget remains silent on this. Besides, there is no word on sanction of drought relief to Tamil Nadu. There is not even a mention of the drought in the State. The interest of Tamil Nadu and its farmers have been completely neglected in the budget,” charged Puliyur A.Nagarajan, president, Farmers wing of the Tamil Manilla Congress.

Echoing his views, P.Ayyakannu, president, Desiya Thennidia Nadigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam wondered how the Centre would achieve its object of doubling farmers income without ensuring remunerative prices for farm produce. “Increasing the allocation for crop loans will only keep farmers eternally debt ridden,” he said.

There is no word about implementing the M.S.Swaminathan Commission recommendations on fixation of farm produce providing for 50% profit over and above the cost of production.

The Budget also remains silent on inter-linking of rivers, he said and termed the budget anti-farmer.

Delta reaction

There is a mixed reaction to the Budget 2017 presented by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday from different sections of people of this delta region.

While the salaried persons feel let down, farmers feel the budget is a mere word play. Some believe that there is an urgent need to transform proposals into deliverables while entrepreneurs contend that no specific direction has been given to overcome domestic recessionary trend induced by demonetisation of high value currencies.

“I feel salaried class is the milking cow of any government,” alleges K.P. Gokul, an executive with a private bank in Kumbakonam. The Centre’s own figures reveal that out of the 76 lakh individual IT assesses declaring income of more than ₹ 5 lakh a year, 56 lakh are salaried persons. Hiding its inability to widen the tax net and tap alternative sources, the Centre is focussing on drawing from the salaried class.

The budget exercise is a mere jugglery of words with regard to agriculture sector, slams Mannargudi S. Ranganathan, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association.

Allocation of ₹ 10 lakh crore might be a phenomenal amount but when seen against the size of the farm economy and the fields of action involved, the allocation is just a pittance.

There has been too much talk on crop insurance but too little has been received by the farmers who have lost their crops, Mr. Ranganathan notes.

Though the allocation under the MGNREGA is up, individual worker is not going to get more work or more pay and that is a big disappointment for landless farm workers, says V. Jeevakumar, Thanjavur district vice-president, CPI (M)-affiliated Tamil Nadu Vivasaya Thozhilalar Sangam. Instead of assortment of works given under the programme, the officials need to craft a cohesive plan to create proper infrastructure in rural areas benefiting both the community and the workers, he notes.

“As an academic, I am disappointed that the much needed service tax exemptions on annual maintenance contract expenses and subscription to digital online resources have been denied,” observes S. Vaidhyasubramaniam, Dean, Sastra University.

New law to confiscate properties of big-time economic offenders and loan defaulters is a welcome step. But there is nothing specific to resuscitate the struggling MSME sector, opines K. Padmanabhan, former president, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Thanjavur.

Skill India Mission must be made more focussed. The skill development courses must be linked to banks that could identify the right project and the entrepreneur to lend thereby reducing the bad debts and NPAs, says R. Palanivelu, former Head, Department of Economics, AVVM Sri Pushpam College, Poondi.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 2:48:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/Farmers-of-delta-region-disappointed/article17131594.ece

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