Anbumani Ramadoss asks for separate 'Agriculture Budget'

"In Tamil Nadu, 300 farmers committed suicide in the last three months. It is a shame on us, as policy makers," he said.

March 16, 2017 10:46 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:58 pm IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and other party leaders during the BJP parliamentary party meeting at Parliament Library in New Delhi on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and other party leaders during the BJP parliamentary party meeting at Parliament Library in New Delhi on Thursday.

After a day of continuous disruptions which led to the adjournment of the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Parliament reconvenes to further discuss the Union Budget.

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday saw a fruitful discussion on the demands for grants under the Railway Ministry.

Here are the updates

6: 50 p.m: It is a matter of concern that the Ministry of Defence has spent so much, without having the lion's share in budgetary allocation: Sugat Bose, Trinamool Congress.

6: 30 p.m.: The House starts to discuss the Demand of Grants in the Defence Ministry.

5: 10 p.m.: Radha Mohan Singh , Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, speaks.

The growth in agriculture for 2017-18 is projected to be 4.1%, he says.

"The enhanced budget allocation for farm sector will go a long way in doubling the income of farmers. I want to make it clear that by increasing the allocation for agriculture sector as a whole and also for irrigation works, we are working towards increasing the farm income. A marked change in the agricultural policy between UPA and NDA regimes is visible as unlike past, the expenditure for agri sector has increased manifold. "In the past, the budget allocation used to be more but the real time expenditures used to be much less. The budgetary allocation will be fully spent" he says.  

 

4: 50 p.m.: Anbumani Ramadoss speaks now. "India lives in its villages. Nearly two-thirds of our people depend on farming. But we don't give them their due importance.

The government should have a separate budget for agriculture. This should show them just how much importance we are giving them.

I request the government to reconsider the MSP. According to research done by Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, to produce one tonne of sugarcane it costs the farmer Rs. 2450. But the MSP is only 2300 rupees. Cost of producing one quintal of rice is Rs. 1529. But the MSP is Rs. 1470. The farmers are running on huge loss.

Ideally it should be given as: Sugarcane for Rs. 3, 475 rupee. Rice for Rs.2,440.

If this is done, you don't need to do anything else.

After my parents, I consider farmers as God. They feed me. But in Tamil Nadu, 300 farmers committed suicide in the last three months only. It is a shame on us, as policy makers."

4: 40 p.m: Prem Das Rai, SDF MP from Sikkim speaks.  "Sikkim is the first organic state in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating everywhere that we should be going organic. But this is not reflected in the Budget.

I would ask the agriculture minister to ensure the entire northeast region in India is made an organic region. And more organic products flood the market. Organic farming is the way forward for sustainable agriculture and food production.

I have two demands: First, the National Organic Farming Research of India (NOFRI) be made operational. It has not been made operational since 2016 when it was declared.

Second, one more Krishi Vidyan Kendra should be declared in Sikkim."

4: 15 p.m.: N. K. Premachandran, MP from Kollam speaks. "Even though rampant industrialisation is going on in the country, agriculture still plays a vital role. Agriculture has a direct impact on the lives of nearly half the population in India.

'The soul of India lives in the rural region, Gandhiji had said.

What is the clear roadmap for achieving the goal of doubling the farmer's income in five years?" he asks the Agriculture Minister. "Whether it is nominal or real income that will be increased?"

 

4: 00 p.m. Lok Sabha: Rahul Kaswan, BJP MP from Rajasthan's Churu constituency speaks. " A long-term plan for irrigation under NABARD must be formulated," he says.

3: 50 p.m. Lok Sabha: S. P. Muddahanume Gowda, Congress MP from Tumkur in Karnataka speaks. "In Karnataka, which has been facing severe drought, the number of suicides last year reached 1,000. A major reason for this - debt from banks."

He stops in the middle to try and catch the attention of the Agriculture Minister. "Sir.. Mr. Agriculture Minister sir.. can you please listen?" The discussion is still about the Demand of Grants under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Rajya Sabha: JD(U)'s Harivansh Narayan Singh speaks

3:30 p.m.: Lok Sabha: Ratna De Nag, Trinamool Congress MP from Hooghly speaks in the Lok Sabha. She is speaking on the Demands for Grants for the Agriculture Ministry. "Potato growers in some States are facing difficulties. Centre must urgently provide them subsidies," she says.

Kannur MP P. K. Sreemathy speaks.

2.00 p.m.: Rajya Sabha: CPI(M) MP Tapan Kumar Sen from West Bengal says that many cess have been abolished. I ask Finance Minister to educate me on why was this done.

D. Raja of CPI, Tamil Nadu says that this budget doesn't have adequate steps to contain inflation. There is no measure to create more jobs as promised by the PM and the govt. There is no increase in direct tax on the rich. But govt gives assurance to reduce the corporate tax. There is burden on indirect tax on the poor people. The govt talks about reform but there is no visible tangible action against defaulters by the rich, corporate houses.

If we closely scrutinise, I do not know what is the understanding of the govt. Even the IMF has pointed out the growing inequality in the nation. It is the IMF economies who advised to spend on health and education. Despite the claims of govt, there is actual reduction and in the interest of the economy, our economy has been highly dependent on foreign inflows. Indian economy is not a rupee economy. It is a U.S. dollar dominated economy.

Always our current account is in deficit. Our exports are less than imports and other services. Our economy is dependent on U.S. dollar.

2.00 p.m.: Lok Sabha: Assam AIUDF MP Badruddin Ajmal places demands of northeast to be made the hub of organic farming. We need a proper mechanism to stop the flooding of river Brahmaputra.

Farmers must receive what their hard work deserves. The farmers do not have money for basic needs like medicines. Assam's fisheries need some attention. Most of the fish comes from south India even though Assam is filled with water.

BJP MP from Rajasthan, Sumedhanand Saraswati says that research has to be done on crops that are being grown in places with less water supply.

AIADMK MP says that farmers aren't able to avail bank loans. The ongoing drought sitation and less water supply has led to low production of crops. Central govt said that 10 lakh crores would be allocated to farmers.

BJP MP Hari Baby Kambhampati says farmers are being benefitted by Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bheema yojana.

1.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha: SAD MP Prem Singh Chandumajra says corruption and blackmoney need to be abolished. Apart from 'Make in India', we need to have a 'Grow India' agenda as well. Loan proceeds have been an issue in this nation. Subsidies given to farmers for drip irrigation should be increased. We even met with ministers regarding this.

Compensation based on their diesel consumption must be changed. Industrialists have created a burden for farmers. Even water is unavailable to them. A Basmati trade corporation is also necessary since farmers are being cheated.

It is even said that the amount of wheat produced by Australia is the amount that is wasted in India.

Madhya Pradesh BJP MP Uday Pratap Singh says farmers aren't able to buy basic necessities in nominal rates. They should be given subsidies. Krishi and MNREGA should join hands and work together for the betterment of the poor.

Many farmers' sons don't aspire to become farmers. So we need to give them a strong foundation for those youth to continue what their fathers do.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 p.m.

1.00 p.m.:Lok Sabha: MP Mekapati Reddy says: We suffered two years of unprecedented floods and two years of unprecedented drought in AP. MSP has to be increased at 20 per cent per annum, NDA government increasing it at 3 per cent, which is lower than the inflation rate. MSP increase for wheat and paddy MSP should be 10 per cent annually.

With no reliable insurance mechanism in place, farmers suffering, BJP promised loan waiver for UP farmers in elections, but the State suffered less due to drought. There should be loan waiver facility for the most affected areas. Poor farmers are not getting bank loans, the community is in great distress. Swaminathan Commission recommendations on MSP fixation should be implemented.

NCP MP Dhananjay Mahadik says: 14 crore farmers do not benefit from the PM crop  insurance scheme every year due to various issues. If 100 per cent crop should be covered.

12.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha: TRS MP Konda Reddy says: Only 22 per cent of areas sown was ensured in 2014-15, by 2018 it would be 50 per cent, we need automatic weather systems in every village.

For insurance purposes, we need to start differentiating between single crop and multi crop farmers.

The crop insurance policy should be changed accordingly. Increase in agriculture credit growth from 9 lakh to 10 lakh crore, but money is not reaching average farmers. Rich farmers getting 64 per cent bank loans.

Banks exceeding credit lending targets, but for agriculture sector they are falling far behind.

Telangana has the highest growth rate, investments for irrigation and other allied projects.

Opposition says the Minister concerned is not there. Kharge says what is the use of this Parliament when members are not there. At leat 1 per cent members should be present. Speaker says two Ministers are there to participate in the discussion. Speaker says all parties have the same problem (of absent members). The Corum is there, two Ministers are there from the government.

Due to inflation there is no actual jump in minimum support price, input cost is increasing, says TRS member.

MP Jitendra Chaudhary says demonetisation has led to further fall income of farmers. Huge deficit in rain fall in TN reported, 200 farmers have died in last two months. Over 4000 suicides in Maharashtra in 2014-15. This Budget is working towards detriment to farmers, no loan waivers as well, while compensation the corporates.

14,000 crore still unpaid to workers under NREGA. Only 0.18 per cent increase in allocations in the new Budget compared to last year. Farmer suicides have a 42 per cent increase since UPA time. 68 per cent of farming houses under debt.

12 noon: Rajya Sabha

Vijila Satyananth of the AIADMK raises the issue of Muthukrishnan's death.

Question Hour begins. Chairman Hamid Ansari is in the Chair.

CPI's D. Raja asks a question on restoration of lands of Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Ms. Swaraj says 46,000 of 50,000 houses have been built.

Tiruchi Siva of the DMK asks if the Minister's discussion during her visit to Sri Lanka included the issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen. Minister answers that in every visit the issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen has been raised. She says she will make a statement at 2 p.m.

Kanimozhi of the DMK asks what the norms are through which the houses are allocated.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi enters the House.

Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu of the Congress asks a question on teacher vacancies in Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas.

Prakash Javadekar says there are 10,000 vacancies for which the process to fill them up has already begun.

The next question is on manual scavenging.

12 noon: Lok Sabha

Mallikarjun Kharge asks, "How many projects have you implemented after May 2014? How much power has been generated? How many villages have been electrified?"

Mr. Goyal answers that all idle projects were revived by the present government and cites Sikkim hydro power project.

Papers are laid on the table.

The Health Minister makes a statement on Universal Primary Health Care facilities. "The policy commits to achieve the targets, like increase life expectancy 67.5 to 70 by 2025, reduction of mortality rate by 2025."

Opposition Members want a discussion on the policy statement. Speaker says no to questions but that the discussion can be held later. There will be no Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha today. Important issues raised by members to be taken up now.

Sushma Swaraj makes a statement on the firing on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. "In no uncertain terms, the government gives highest priority to Indian fishermen. The issue has been taken up with Sri Lanka. They have reassured us that further action will be taken to investigate the matter. They also said that a probe had been ordered."

11.30 a.m.: Rajya Sabha

Jharna Das Baidya of the CPI(M) says LPG prices are going to new heights after the universal subsidy scheme has been replaced by targeted one.

Ali Anwar Ansari of the JD(U) speaks about using Bhojpuri as a language in primary education. Chair asks him to speak in Bhojpuri and he does so.

Chair welcomes Sushma Swaraj back to the House.

"More than a million govt employees are on strike today," says Tapan Kumar Sen of the CPI(M). "They are not filling vacancies and going for contractualisation. It deprives SC/STs of their rights. Minimum wage of 7th pay commission should be revised upwards."

Rupa Ganguly speaks next. She says personal allegations have been made. Protests ensue. Chair says he will go through the record and expunge anything that needs to be expunged.

Subbarami Reddy of the Congress raises the issue of attacks against Indian-origin people in the U.S.

Sushma Swaraj says she will give a statement on the same on Monday.

11.30 a.m.: Lok Sabha

"Any areas not yet included should be taken up by the state government committee, especially for new areas that have come into India on a fast track basis," says Mr. Goyal in response to another question. "About Rs. 400 crore has been given to all states under the Deen Dayal rural electrification programme."

Shiv Sena MP Adsul Vithoba asks why more than 40 villages in Amaravati have not yet been electrified. Mr. Goyal responds that Maharashtra is a relatively more developed state and not a priority like less-developed regions of India. "We will look into it."

Lallu Singh of the BJP wants figures for restoration of old power generators. "All NTPC plants more than 25 years old will be replaced, not refurbished," says Mr. Goyal. "We will replace about 11000 MW of generators operated by NTPC and will reduce pollution too."

"We are working to bring all projects into shape, efforts to include it in the ambit of renewable energy," says Mr. Goyal.

Answering a question of increasing the capacity of power stations and slow work of government agencies, the Minister says when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat, there was 24×7 power supply in the state.

Minister says when the new government came in 2,631 MW was the solar power generation capacity. "The aim was to achieve 20,000 MW. Now the target is one lakh MW. In two and half years, the capacity has become four-fold, to 10,000 MW."

11 a.m.: Lok Sabha

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is in the Chair. Question Hour begins.

Rama Kishore Singh of the Lok Jan Shakti Party asks a question on electrification of villages.

Piyush Goel answers a question  on a power plant in Bihar, and says there is a surplus in the country. "It is not feasible to put up a plant at present."

11 a.m.: Rajya Sabha

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien takes the Chair. Papers are laid on the table.

Zero Hour begins.

Sharad Yadav takes up the issue of Minimum Support Price and farmer suicides.

Venkaiah Naidu says that the government has increased the MSP. A din begins.

10.45 a.m.:Listed business for the day

Rajya Sabha

- Supplementary demands for grants (Railways) - Discussion on the Union Budget 2017-18 - Discussion on the working of the Ministry of Railways - Members to seek clarification on statements made by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on incidents in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on March 7 and 8, respectively - Hansraj Gangaram Ahir to make a statement on the Sukma attack - Sushma Swaraj to make a statement on the killing of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy off the coast of Tamil Nadu

Lok Sabha

- Discussion on the Union Budget - Discussion and voting on demands for grants under the Agriculture Ministry - Discussion and voting on the demands for grants under the Defence Ministry

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.