THANJAVUR: Farmers feel let down that as Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not touch upon farm loan waiver and increasing MSP. N V Kannan, district secretary of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, said the minister spoke eloquently about increasing foreign direct investment but was silent on farmers.
“So many farmers ended their lives due to debt and crop loss, Instead of addressing their concerns, the minister announced tax cut for corporates having turnover of up to Rs 400 crores”, he said. With the insurance sector opened up for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), crop insurance scheme would be under threat, he added.
PS Masilamani, State deputy secretary of Tamil Nadu Farmers association, welcomed the target to form 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO) but said small and marginal farmers who make the bulk of Indian farmers, would not be benefited by these FPOs.
Also, he said there was no schemes for augment water resources. “Whenever the Cauvery water sharing issue was raised, the Union government used to promote Godavari-Cauvery link project. But there is no announcement or allocation for the project”, he added. P R Pandian, general secretary of Tamilaga Cauvery Vivasayigal Sangam, said while the finance minister thanked the farmers for achieving self-sufficiency in pulse production, also announced participation of private sector in agriculture which is unacceptable, he added.
He also lamented that there was no announcement on loan waiver. There was also no announcement about the implementation of the MS Swaminathan commission’s recommendation on fixing remunerative prices for crops. He also pointed out while the Union Government acknowledged depletion of groundwater in Tamil Nadu, it did not allocate funds for rectifying the situation. “There were no announcements about river linking projects or other new irrigation projects”, he said.
He also expressed concern that the crop insurance scheme would fail to address the issue for which it was started in the insurance sector is opened for 100% FDI. R Palanivelu, Professor of Economics in Poondi college welcomed the target to provide water to every household by 2020, creating National Research Fund (NRF), Rs 5,000 overdraft facility in Jan Dhan bank account for the members of verified Self Help Groups. He, however, said there were no visionary schemes to address the unemployment problem.