UPA's agriculture policy comes in for criticism | india | Hindustan Times
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UPA's agriculture policy comes in for criticism

The government has been charged with scaling down the wheat estimates this year to 71.54 million tonnes.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2006 10:15 IST

The government's agriculture policy has come in for strong criticism from the Bharat Krishak Samaj and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch with the former seeking the intervention of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to protect the farmer-friendly image of the Congress party.

"The farmers of the country have expressed grave concern over the government's policy of encouraging imports of several agro-commodities," the Samaj's Executive Chairman Krishan Bir Chaudhary said in a letter to Sonia Gandhi.

"Unfortunately, the Food and Agriculture Ministries are now being handled by a leader of NCP (Sharad Pawar), who has least interest in preserving the farmer-friendly image of the Congress party," he said.

He charged the government with scaling down the wheat estimates this year to 71.54 million tonnes saying that the production was slated to touch 73.06 million tonnes.

Chaudhary, in the letter, said this was done to import 3.5 million tonnes of wheat.

Even the government's revised estimate of 71.54 million tonne was more than sufficient to meet the needs of the country, he said.

Meanwhile, the pro-RSS Swadeshi Jagarna Manch alleged that the condition of agriculture and farmers is fast deteriorating in the country.

"In the guise of reforms in agriculture, unrestricted entry is being given to multinational agri business firms to make purchases," it said adding large scale purchases by these MNCs is leading to exploitation of consumers as well as farmers.