Voicing concern over deepening agrarian crisis, opposition members in Rajya Sabha on thursday asked as to when the government would usher in “acche din” for farmers who were committing suicide and accused the Centre of favouring big industrialists.
Initiating a short duration discussion on agrarian crisis, Anand Sharma (Cong) wanted to know whether the BJP government had turned insensitive to the plight of farmers who were driven to suicide due to low return from crops, crop failure, high interest rates, less demand and dip in exports.
“When would the government come out of its slumber When will acche din for farmers come you are accountable to the nation, your Prime Minister has accountability to the nation and farmers as you came to power on this plank,” Sharma said.
He blamed the government for poor condition of farmers, saying prices of crops were falling but it failed to increase MSP properly whereas during UPA era when cotton prices slid, the BJP including the Prime Minister, who was Gujarat Chief Minister then, had taken to streets to get MSP raised.
Last year food grain production including edible oil stood at 342 million tonne and there were exports too, Sharma said, adding this year prices have fallen globally affecting exports.
Even cotton exports which stood at 117 lakh bales last year will be hit as China had stopped imports and started exporting, he said.
“Are you only concerned about bid industrialists? You are forcing nationalised banks, which are already burdened with NPAs, to offer more loans to big industrialists whereas you have increased interest rate for farmers at 7 per cent,” he asked.
Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) said, “This government has waived loans of big industrialists running into lakhs and crores of rupees whereas farmers were sent to jail for not repaying loans of Rs 100.”