INDIA bloc govt will have permanent commission for farm loan waiver: Cong

New Delhi, May 23 (PTI) The Congress on Thursday claimed that the Modi government waived bank loans worth Rs 16 lakh crore of its “crony capitalist friends” but not of farmers, and asserted that an INDIA bloc government will create a permanent commission to ensure such waiver for farmers in every state.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that in 2008, the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh waived agricultural loans worth Rs 72,000 crore which benefited a large number of farmers.

“The Modi government has waived bank loans worth Rs 16 lakh crore of its crony capitalist friends, but not even a single rupee of the farmers’ agricultural loan has been waived,” Ramesh said in a post in Hindi on X.

In 2008, the UPA government waived agricultural loans worth Rs 72,000 crore with loans waived for 54 lakh farmers in UP, 4.2 lakh farmers in Punjab, 8.9 lakh farmers in Haryana and 17.6 lakh farmers in Bihar.

“On June 4, when the INDIA bloc comes to power, we guarantee to create a permanent farm loan waiver commission, which will ensure farm loan waiver in every state. We have fulfilled our promises earlier also, we are saying that we will do it again,” the Congress general secretary said.

Earlier in the day, he hit out at the BJP for not fulfilling the promises made to farmers’ organisations and asserted that an INDIA bloc government will implement all its guarantees to the farmers, including a legal guarantee to minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Ramesh noted that general elections have been held in 428 constituencies and now polling on 115 seats, including those in Punjab and Haryana, are left.

In a video statement on X, he said the farmers’ movement has been going on in Haryana and Punjab since five years and though the government took back the “three black farm laws”, it has “not fulfilled the promises” made to farmer organisations.

“For the last five years, the Modi government has continuously ignored the farmers’ movement of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Atrocities were committed against farmers. Now they are talking about snatching the MSP from the farmers of Punjab and Haryana for burning stubble,” Ramesh said and asserted that the Congress strongly opposes this policy.

“Justice for farmers will be the top priority for the incoming INDIA Janbandhan government,” he said in a post in Hindi along with the video statement.

Ramesh said the Congress has given five concrete guarantees for farmers in its ‘Nyay Patra’ (manifesto), including legal guarantee to MSP, based on the Swaminathan formula, and a permanent commission to effectively implement loan waiver plans.

The party has also given the guarantee for direct transfer of insurance payment within 30 days of crop loss, a proper import-export policy and removal of GST from everything necessary for farming, he said.

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