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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 6:58 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 6:58 AM (IST)

Badal writes to Modi, seeks viable scheme for farmers

Badal writes to Modi, seeks viable scheme for farmers
Parkash Singh Badal, File photo

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 10

Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an effective policy on assured marketing of crops along with a broad-based Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime.

Badal also sought a direct income support in the form of production subsidy as a priority measure to fight the alarming agrarian crisis in the country.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Badal said though loan waivers were necessary as a short-term measure, emergency help to farmers, long-term measures needed to be put in place in order to make agriculture remunerative and farmers economically self-reliant.

Badal urged Modi to introduce an effective and a broad-based crop insurance scheme as a bulwark against economic misery facing the farmers today.

He said one of the best ways to help farmers in the long run would be to revisit the terms and the modus operandi of agricultural financing in favour of easy and productive agricultural financing regime.

He said for this purpose easy and soft crop loans should be made available to farmers with maximum interest rate of 3 per cent and the agriculture investment credit should be provided at 6 per cent.

Adding that MSP in the absence of assured marketing becomes meaningless, Badal said a proper marketing infrastructure for all alternative crops for which the Minimum Support Price was announced on the lines of wheat and paddy in Punjab should be institutionalised.

Farmers were always willing and able to shift to any alternative crop or crops which the country might require provided the government puts an assured marketing with remunerative MSP in place, he said.

In his letter to the PM, Badal said budgetary outlay for farm research needed to be significantly enhanced to increase productivity and minimise risks to farm production.

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