Swaraj India today claimed that the Union Budget was reflective of the government’s “indifference and arrogance” as it lacked announcements on major agricultural issues, including any relief for demonetisation-hit farmers in the country.
Party president Yogendra Yadav in a Kisan Sansad held at Jantar Mantar said farmers had been hoping for relief in the Budget as they were hit by notes ban but failed to derive anything from it.
“In entirety, this budget reflects the government’s indifference and arrogance towards farmers. Indifference in the face of farmers suicides and arrogance that their votes are guaranteed even if nothing is done for them,” he alleged.
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Farmers had hopes from the budget as they had not been given anything in the past three years and also as some compensation or relief was expected in view of the losses suffered by them due to demonetisation, he said.
“Overall, the budget failed to meet their expectations. It had rhetoric and statistics but the farmers failed to get anything from it. There were no announcements that could provide relief to them,” he said.
Yadav said there were no announcements on four key issues concerning farmers–income, expenditure, crop safety and loans–that could provide relief to them.
In other areas including minimum support price (MSP) or guaranteed minimum income were also untouched, he said.
“The farm credit target this year has been enhanced from Rs 9.5 lakh crore to Rs 10 lakh crore which will not provide any direct benefit to the farmers and if you consider inflation rate there is no change in it,” he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley “just repeated” the announcement of last year’s Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna and clearly did not tell that the number of insured farmers under Fasal Bima Yojna has not increased, Yadav claimed.
The farmers “did not not receive” their claims but the premium of companies has “increased”, he said about Fasal Bima Yojna.
“Insurance companies have been hugely benefited by Fasal Bima Yojna but farmers have not been benefited by it,” he said.
A ‘Krishi Budget’ was presented in the Kisan Sansad, in which farmer leaders from different states participated, that demanded addressing all structural issues related to farming, holistic rural regeneration and formation of a National Farmers Income Commission with a corpus of Rs 100 crore.
It also demanded a budgetary allocation of Rs 3,000 crore for creation of a special fund to provide relief to families of farmers who committed suicide since June 2014.