In a letter to her Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated her inability to attend a meeting of NITI Aayog sub-group of chief ministers for coordination of policy approach on agriculture and MNREGA, to be held in New Delhi on July 12. She included a list of suggestions, including loan waivers for farmers, which she felt should be discussed at the meeting.
In the letter (a copy of which is with The Indian Express), sent Wednesday, Mamata wrote, “Since the notice for the meeting has been received very late and I am already away from the state headquarters visiting a number of districts in north Bengal for holding administrative review meetings, it would not be possible for me to attend the meeting on July 12, 2018.”
However, she stressed on a need to discuss her demand for waiving of institutional loans of farmers, especially small and marginal ones, and adequate budgetary provision by the Union government for the same. “Minimum support for procurement of major crops of different states must be declared and an institutional mechanism may be put in place to ensure that farmers get the minimum support price,” she wrote.
She also suggested that all farmers including landless ones and labourers be covered under Kisan credit cards and average loans given to credit card holders should start from Rs 2 lakh. Subsidy on exporters of farmers’ products was another demand mentioned in the letter. Moreover, Mamata strongly urged that apart from 100 days’ work under NREGS, another 100 days’ work be allowed for better convergence of agricultural and horticultural sectors.