Madhya Pradesh state assembly unanimously passed second supplementary budget of Rs 8407 crores to provide immediate relief to the drought-hit farmers, on Thursday.
Speaking at the end of the discussion chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the state was facing an unprecedented drought crisis.
The supplementary budget was presented by finance minister Jayant Malaiya which was passed by the assembly.
During discussions the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress- both tried to take credit for organizing the special session for the farmers. Apprehensions of Congress stalling the session too proved futile as the House completed the business including CM’s speech of an hour and a quarter.
While chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan stressed the need to provide immediate reprieve to the distressed farmers hence special session, leader of Opposition, Satyadev Katare said that he had written a letter in September to convene special session to address the problems of farmers.
Congress MLA Mahendra Singh Kalukheda cited rising suicide figures of farmers during last ten years and alleged that even farmers’ agitations had increased manifold in last one decade.
‘Multi-crop farming effective solution to tackle crisis’
CM Chouhan in his reply produced figures of farmers suicides from the year 1997 onwards claiming that farmer suicides happened more even then, referring to Congress rule.
Chouhan in his address to the House assured that the relief would reach as soon as possible to the farmers. He admitted that there was some problems in the power sector but by citing figures said that the situation is much better than the Congress rule.
CM said that the BJP government had increased the compensation for farmers manifold in last one decade. He also cited other achievements like increase in area of irrigation and power. He stressed on the need to educate farmers on changing weather and crop pattern and said multi-crop farming pattern will help farmers tackle such crises.
‘Crop insurance scheme is nothing more than cheating’
CM admitted in the House that crop insurance scheme is nothing more than cheating.
“Poor farmers had been victim of these insurance companies, this trend would change now as a proposal related to this is pending at the centre level and new formula would emerge soon. Even the state government is working out on this issue”, said CM.
Replying to questions raised by some members from the Opposition, Chouhan said that one needs to be practical in running the government.
Banking system needed to be saved and therefore government was making a provision to compensate cooperative banks which had given loan to the farmers. As these banks had been instructed to defer recovery they would be compensated by the government so that they didn’t fall in bad-debt and make loss.
He said farmers were being provided electricity on subsidized rates but electricity companies needed running expenses to buy coal and to meet other expenses. Power companies had been instructed to defer recovery of bills from farmers therefore considerable amount had also been earmarked for power sector, said CM.
CM concluded his speech by assuring the House that the government might stop building roads and other developmental works but would not let the farmers suffer. “We may further cut budget of other departments but would not let farmers suffer,” said Chouhan.