February 2, 2021 2:42:46 am
Farmers’ organisations in Maharashtra expressed disappointment over the Union Budget. At a time there is widespread unrest among farmers, the Budget failed to address their key concerns, farmers’ organisations and leaders in the state said.
“The Centre has played to the gallery. It is trying to mollify the protesting farmers by conveying that it is not against APMCs. And reaffirming its resolve of double income and production. But the question is, how are they going to address these issues without putting in place a mechanism that would facilitate higher remuneration to farmers,” said Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana president Raju Shetti.
“The allocations for irrigation and higher foodgrain procurement are all jugglery. The ground reality is very different. What happened to the irrigation package promised last year? How has it helped small and marginal farmers? Has it helped to raise their income,” he asked.
“The Budget on agriculture sector is an eyewash. It’s disappointing for farmers whose simple demand is make MSP mandatory through an Act of Parliament. And make any violation a criminal offence,” he said.
Raghunath Patil of Shetkari Sanghatana, who does not support the farmers’ agitation in Delhi, is also disappointed with the Budget. He said, “It’s evident that the Centre’s approach was to defuse the ongoing agitation by catering to farmers of Punjab and Haryana where wheat and paddy are the main crops. They have made huge allocations for wheat and paddy procurement. But what about states where pulses and cereals are the main crops? There is no budgetary provision. Maharashtra farmers stand to lose as they won’t benefit from the Budget.”
Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavlambhan Yojna president Kishore Tiwari said, “The Budget is silent on dry land farming. It has not made any allocations for input cost reduction and sustainable farming. Therefore, while it talks of double income and higher production, it has not addressed the crucial aspect of credit flow to small and marginal farmers.”
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