Senior BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari on Monday suggested the Rajasthan government to create an agriculture cabinet or a commissionerate to address the problems faced by farmers.
Participating in the budgetary provision debate on agriculture, animal husbandry and cooperative departments, Tiwari said a farmer has to approach power, water, land development, bank, cooperative and other departments to get work done.
“It’s time that the state government should create an agriculture cabinet or a commissionerate on the lines of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the interest of farmers.”
Farmers are under large debt as focus is not on agriculture sector, he said. “Gaupalan (cow affairs) department was created and Baba (Otaram Devasi) was made the department minister. But nothing more has been done for cows apart from deputing 16 employees to the department.”
The party manifesto promised creating a cow sanctuary but nothing has been done, Tiwari said. “Nothing has been done for improving livestock breed and organic farming as there is no budget allocation.”
Tiwari wondered what agriculture universities had done to improve farming and to develop new seed banks.
“Government resources are limited but agriculture sector needs funds. Whatever was done for industries in the Resurgent Rajasthan summit should be followed in agriculture sector too.”
If the previous NDA government’s water linking project was pursued seriously, then farmers would not have face scarcity of water, he said.
For the benefit of farmers, the six-time MLA suggested, power should be made free. “National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme should be linked to farming,” Tiwari said.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across India have failed and industrialists are selling plots allocated for setting up industries, he said.
“But what is that the farmer getting? The law stating an industrialist has to return land to farmers if a project doesn’t start in five years should be strictly applied.”