Budget nets bouquets, brickbats from farmers

By Times Of India on 16 Mar 2018 | read
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TRICHY: The state budget presented by deputy chief minister and finance minister O Panneerselvam has evoked mixed reactions from farmers. While those from the delta region welcomed the announcement on procurement of cereals, sugarcane farmers have given a thumbs-down to the proposed revenue sharing method. Farmers said that the Rs 250 crore earmarked for constructing check dams was as meagre as the Rs 300 crore set apart for Kudi Maramatthu (maintenance of water channels).
Secretary of Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association Swamimalai R Vimalnathan said that there were a number of attractive announcements in the budget. These included Rs 130 crore for dairy development, Rs 1,227.89 crore for animal husbandry and the ultra mega food park under the new food processing policy. However, there was no scheme for small and marginal farmers, he alleged.

“Finance minister has announced that sugarcane farmers would get their incentive based on revenue sharing method. This system will not work because only mill owners will benefit from the revenue sharing method. The Rs 200 crore incentive for sugarcane cultivation is an eye-wash ”, he said. Sugar cane farmers have urged the government to do the needful to disburse the Rs 1,460 crore due to them first.

If the government started procuring black gram, green gram and dhal, it should not be done through Tamil Nadu Agri Regulated Marketing. Instead, the government should open separate centres at the village level, so that farmers could sell their produces without spending money on transportation, he added.

State organizer of the farmers’ wing of Tamil Manila Congress, Puliyur A Nagarajan, said that when there was no announcement on writing off crop loans, nothing could be done with the allocation of Rs 8,000 crore as loan to needy farmers through co-operatives. The entire farming community was in the clutches of debt, he added.

“The Tamil Nadu government should first withdraw the case filed in the Supreme Court opposing the order of the Madras high court Madurai bench revoking the crop loan of the farming community in the state,” Nagarajan further stated.