The announcements made with respect to the agriculture sector in the Union Budget today have evoked mixed reactions from the delta farmers.
While some of them said the proposals had been made with an eye on the forthcoming elections to the Legislative Assemblies such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and others, some others termed it as well-balanced financial planning.
S. Ranganathan, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, viewed the Budget to be a well-balanced financial planning and welcomed the enhanced credit flow to agriculture and allied sectors. He commended the Union Government for giving due importance to the allocation of funds to health, rural development and education sectors.
Citing the absence of firm assurance on the minimum support price and the silence over waiver of crop loans in the Budget, N.V. Kannan, Thanjavur district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam affiliated to CPI (M), said that the basic problems faced by the farmers had been neglected by the Union government.
Terming the statement made by the Union Finance Minister that people would be free to choose their service provider to avail the power connection as nothing but the death knell on the free farm power supply scheme, P.R. Pandian, president, Federation of All Farmers’ Associations in Tamil Nadu, said the silence over the linking of inter-State rivers was a worry to the farmers.
Enhancement of micro-irrigation fund from ₹ 5,000 crore to ₹.10,000 crores for rural development from ₹ 30,000 crore to ₹ 40, 000 and extending the scope for export hitherto confined to onion, tomato and potato to 22 other perishable crops were welcomed by progressive farmers such as P. Sundaram of Thiruvaiyaru, Arun of Thanjavur, S. Masilamani of Tiruvarur and R.Sabapathy of Madukkur.