Manmohan hints at debt relief for farmers

New Delhi, Feb 25 | Updated: Feb 26 2008, 05:28am hrs
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday hinted at the possibility of some debt relief for farmers.

I understand the problems of the people of Punjab, particularly farmers. Last year also, we had waived off loans... with just a few days to go for the Budget, it will not be appropriate for me to disclose these things.

But I want to assure you that the demands raised in your memorandum will be considered by our government, he told the delegation led by former Punjab deputy chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. The delegates submitted a memorandum to Gandhi and Singh asking for, among other things, a debt relief package for small and marginal farmers with a land holding of up to five acres.

In her remarks, Sonia Gandhi said since 2004, When our government came to power, it has taken many steps for the benefit of farmers. MSP for wheat and rice has been increased. We know farmers are facing difficult times. I hope, I know Manmohan Singhs government will give due attention to your demands.

Kaur thanked the Prime Minister for announcing release of ten lakh tonne subsidized wheat under the PDS for Punjab.