1. Farmers’ problems old, need to find solutions collectively: PM Narendra Modi

Farmers’ problems old, need to find solutions collectively: PM Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi today said the agriculture community's problems are "old, deep-rooted and widespread" which need to be addressed collectively...

By: | New Delhi | Published: April 23, 2015 3:29 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his brief intervention during an impromptu debate on the issue, said the farmers cannot be left to fend for themselves and need to be given help. (Reuters)

Sharing “pain” over the suicide by a farmer here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the agriculture community’s problems are “old, deep-rooted and widespread” which need to be addressed collectively and expressed willingness to accept any suggestion with an open mind.

Making a statement in Lok Sabha after members expressed deep anguish over yesterday’s incident, he said the farmers cannot be left to fend for themselves and assessment would have to be made about “shortcomings” that occurred before his government came as well as during his tenure.

“Yesterday’s incident has caused pain to the entire nation. Members here also expressed the pain. I share the pain,” Modi said about the suicide committed by a farmer from Rajasthan at a rally organised by Aam Aadmi Party here.

Observing that nothing is more important than a farmer’s life or for that matter a human life, he said, “The problem (afflicting the farmers) is old, deep-rooted and widespread and we have to seek solutions in that context.”

He said it needs to be ascertained as to what “mistakes” have been made and “what shortcomings” have been there before his government came as well as during his tenure. The Prime Minister, during his brief intervention during an impromptu debate on the issue, said the farmers cannot be left to fend for themselves and need to be given help.

“There should be a collective resolve in this regard. We have an open mind to consider any suggestion that is made… We cannot let the farmers die,” he said.

He said governments, from time to time, have been doing their bit to address this problem. “Whatever governments could do, they have been doing,” he added.

Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government stands by the farming community and will provide whatever help is required.

Contending that compensation is provided as per a process, he said states have been asked to compensate the farmers adequately.

He said the states have been asked to draw from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which would be reimbursed by the Centre later.

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  1. V
    VJM
    Apr 24, 2015 at 8:37 am
    It is heartening to hear PM Modi responding on farmer’s suicides in Lok Sabha. He rightly said that farmers problems are old and deep-rooted. Agriculture and allied sector engage and employ 150 million rural households directly and indirectly consuting 70% of potion. The reforms of 1991 touched every sector in the economy, but not Agriculture sector. The Indian farmer, mostly small and marginal, is the most cursed human being on the earth. From the sowing to marketing of his produce, he is vulnerable to vagaries of nature and is subject to bureaucratic controls of State and Central Government. Agriculture is consutionally a State Subject, but, in practice, all policy decisions in its activity chain like Agriculture Credit, Procurement, MSP, Fertilzer allocation and Subsidy, and Relief Measures ,etc., are taken by Central Government. Today, villagers have infrastructure in terms of roads and education and are able to get mobile and internet connection, but their mainstay of agriculture is still sandwiched by many controls of State and Central Governments in entire farming activity chain and there is no ease of doing Agriculture. With looming Agrarian crisis across the nation, farmers suicides are spreading to north from south. The suicide of Gajendra Singh in Delhi is prominent visible example of many such suicides happening in country side. There is an urgent need for total liberalization and modernization of Agriculture through Reforms which would lead to increasing its productivity and good remuneration to farmers through better risk management and technology infusion. It is also essential to include Agriculture in Concurrent List so that Central Government can play more decisive and proactive role in farming activity. BJP ought to have given top priority to Agriculture Reforms. The DNA of BJP is as such not geared for agriculture and farmers. Unfortunately, Modi has not chosen right man for Agriculture Ministry. . Similarly, UPA also had not chosen right man for Agriculture Minister as Mr. Sharad Pawar was more interested in Cricket than solving the challenges of complex Agriculture crisis. While PM is making this statement in Lok Sabha, RBI diluted the Agriculture Credit norms bringing direct finance percentage to farmers by Banks from 14% to 7% and they have removed the distinction of direct and indirect finance to Agriculture enabling big-ticket advances to be categorized under Agriculture Credit. Similarly, Food Corporation of India drastically reduced the percentage of procurement of food grains from farmers without any notice. The MSP for many crops have not yet been announced by Govt. of India. Such measures reflect the insensitivity of RBI and BJP government towards farmers. Therefore, PM Modi has to consute High Powered Agriculture Reforms Commission with States and experts as members immediately to look into short-term and long-term solutions to current Agrarian Crisis so that farmers can be freed fully from dual control of Central and State Government. If BJP, with majority in Lok Sabha, doesn’t implement Agriculture Reforms enabling the ease of doing Agriculture for farmers, the suicides of the farmers would continue.
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