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Previous Congress governments at Centre of ignored farmers: Parkash Singh Badal

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today accused previous Congress governments at the Centre of ignoring issues of farmers struggling under huge debts.During a debate in the assembly on a resolution on "rising financial
PTI September 24, 2015 18:18 IST
PTI

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today accused previous Congress governments at the Centre of ignoring issues of farmers struggling under huge debts.

During a debate in the assembly on a resolution on "rising financial crisis of farmers", Badal said "successive Congress  governments at the Centre did nothing to benefit them".

"Previous Congress governments never gave anything more than the production cost to farmers and this...led to a huge debt," he said.

"Agriculture was a State subject, but previous Congress governments took away powers from states and framed anti-farmers policies," he said.

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He said farmers are under the enormous debt load of around Rs 32,000 crore. "The time has come when the state, the Centre and farmers jointly need to find out a solution to their problems," he said.

Badal criticised Congress members for walking out of the House during the debate. "Leader of the Opposition Sunil Kumar Jakhar wants to play to the gallery and exploit the situation farmers are going through," he said.

He also urged the Centre to have a separate budget for the agriculture sector along the lines of Railways and advocated crop insurance scheme so that crops like Maize and sunflower are purchased on Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Also, he suggested that the Centre "substantially" increase compensation to farmers for damages to crops due to natural calamities.