The Congress today said it will waive farm loans if it came to power in Gujarat. “We will waive all farm loans and make the farmers debt- free if we come to power in the Assembly elections,” Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki said here. Elections are due in Gujarat this year.
“As per our estimates, (total) debt of farmers in the state is around Rs 24,000 crore now,” Solanki told reporters. The promise of loan waiver would also find place in the party’s manifesto, he said. The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh recently announced farm loan waiver, following an announcement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Assembly election campaign.
Solanki also promised good minimum support price (MSP) for farm produce, and removal of five per cent Value Added Tax on fertilisers levied by the BJP government. “Our government will be farmer-centric,” he said.
“The BJP government is anti-farmer. It has not ensured a good MSP for farm produce and levied a tax on fertilisers,” he said.
“In the last three years 1,483 farmers committed suicide in Gujarat due to the bad policies of the state government,” Solanki alleged. “The government is not giving new electricity connections to farmers. Almost 85 per cent of applications for electricity collections are pending.
“Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is a businessman, therefore he cannot understand farmers’ plight. But the deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel is a farmer’s son, he should understand their difficulties,” the Congress leader said. “Nitin Patel recently said the farmers in Gujarat have no debt. This was an insensitive statement,” Solanki said.