Farmers oppose indirect subsidy

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Aug 3 | Updated: Aug 4 2007, 03:48am hrs
Farmer organisations across the country have criticized the government for not being able to deliver subsidy directly to them and routing it through the industry.

The minister for chemicals and fertilisers, Ram Vilas Paswan after meeting the fertiliser advisory forum on Wednesday had said, it would be difficult to deliver the earmarked fertiliser subsidy directly to farmers.

Reacting to Paswan's statement, leader of Bharat Krishak Samaj, Krishan Bir Chaudhary said, "The meeting of fertiliser advisory forum called by the minister had no leader from any recognised farmers' organisation. The forum took the decision without incorporating views from the farmers."

Chaudhary said that delivering subsidy directly to farmers cannot be a problem in this age of technology. It only requires the willingness of the government to do so. Land records in most parts of the country are computerised as per the claims of the government and therefore it would not be difficult to identify farmers and their land holdings, he said.

Farmers alleged that they get very little benefits from the earmarked subsidy when routed through industry.

General secretary of Hyderabad-based Consortium of Indian Farmers' Associations (CIFA), P Chengal Reddy said : "There can be no problem even in identifying tenant farmers. In Andhra Pradesh, tenant farmers have formed their own association and banks are extending credit to them directly.

Rakesh Tikait of Bharatiya Kissan Union said that the government should earmark an appropriate level of subsidy to deliver it directly to farmers.