Skip to main content

Rajasthan government announces farm loan waivers, but doubts remain (downtoearth)

Farmers’ protest in Rajasthan has come to an end as the state government has announced loan waivers after multiple rounds of discussion with farmers’ representatives. This was announced in a press conference by the Rajasthan agriculture minister Prabhulal Saini. “We have agreed to waive loans up to Rs 50,000 for farmers. A high level team of specialists will talk to stakeholders in other states and chart out the process of loan waiver and its impact in Rajasthan,” he was quoted as saying in media reports. 

The decision was made after an 11-hour-long meeting involving ministers Prabhulal Saini, Ajay Kilak, Pushpendra Singh and Rampratap along with state BJP President Ashok Parnami with a 11 member farmers’ delegation including former CPI(M) MLAs Amraram and Pemaram and leaders Harphool Singh, Gursharan Singh, Sheopat Ram, Narayan Dudui, Lalchand Bhadu and Chagganlal.

Following the loan waiver announcement, the farmers ended the “mahapadav” (sit-in) which began on September 1. Protests and negotiations on farmer relief and loan waiver have been going on since July this year. The farmers were demanding implementation of recommendations given by The National Commission on Farmers chaired by M S  Swaminathan, which aimed at improving the economic conditions of farmers. Their demands also included increasing pension from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 for those who are above 60 years of age and removing the ban on sale of cattle.

The state government will form a high level scientific and technical committee to study the loan waiver process adopted in other states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab etc. The committee will have to submit a report within a month.

Reading between the lines

While the protests have been called off for now, some sections of the protestors are sceptical. “If you look at the government letter, there is no guarantee that they will not backtrack from these promises,” said Rampal Jat of Kisan Mahapanchayat, a national-level farmer organisation.

Jat pointed out more loopholes: “In response to the demand for creating employment, their response is the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. To other demands too they have simply listed existent state policies. How have they accepted our demands?”

He also expressed doubts over the total waiver amount which has been publicised, saying, “We have no clue were the figure of Rs 20,000 crore has come from. The government letter doesn’t talk about Rs. 20,000 crore. It mentions of setting up a committee to look into the implementation process, which is different from loan waiver,” he added.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

The Chipko movement as it stands today

The idea behind the Chipko movement originated in early 1970s from Mandal, a village in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Forty-three years later, Down To Earth travelled to Chamoli and Tehri Garhwal and spoke to the participants of this movement about its relevance today