MP: Shivraj promises to ‘protect’ farmers from moneylenders
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday assured farmers that private moneylenders and people who have leased out land for farming would not be allowed to harass them for recovery of loan or share money.bhopal Updated: Oct 29, 2015 14:34 IST
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday assured farmers that private moneylenders and people who have leased out land for farming would not be allowed to harass them for recovery of loan or share money.
Addressing farmers on a radio programme titled ‘mukhyamantri ki baat, kisaanon ke saath’ (chief minister’s talk with farmers), aired live on All India Radio, Chouhan said that the state government would take all possible measures, including seeking of a loan to compensate farmers and even defer development projects to provide relief to them.
“The relief amount needed is big and it would impact the budget of the state,” he said.“We can repay the loan but can’t let the farmers suffer.”
The chief minister reiterated on a string of assurances and announcements for drought and crop damage-hit farmers made earlier in the month, including compensation for crop damage, early payment of crop insurance, deferment of loan recovery, lowering of farm loan interest rates for next cropping season (Rabi), distribution of wheat and rice at Re 1 per kg through ration shops, help in marriage of farmers’ daughters, power bill recovery deferment, free medicines among others.
CM appeals to people to donate to relief fund
Chouhan appealed to people to donate to the chief minister’s relief fund, saying that he and his cabinet colleagues have decided to give a month’s salary for the farmers’ relief.
Official sources said that the state government needs more than Rs 3,000 crore to compensate affected farmers but has a budget of only Rs 700 crore. The government has sought a package of Rs 2,400 from the Centre but has not received any word on it, some of them said.
‘Lodge a complaint if moneylenders harass you’
Answering queries of more than 10 farmers during the hour-long programme, most of which related to the drought and crop damage, Chouhan said that the district and police administrations have been directed to keep a watch to ensure that private moneylenders or land leasers do not harass the drought affected farmers.
“But if they harass you, you can lodge a complaint with the district administration and they would try to resolve the issue for you,” he told the caller.
Gulabrao Kelkar, a resident of Bhainsdehi block in Betul said that the block has not been included in drought-hit list, to which the CM assured that they would still get the crop insurance scheme benefits.
To a question from Vijay Mishra, another resident of Betul, the CM said that those who could afford to repay bank loans should do so “because if everyone stopped payments, banks would face financial crisis”.
‘Don’t sow same crop year after year’
To a caller from Sheopur, the CM assured that irrigation water would be provided if possible while to another, he said that officals would be sent out to the affected areas to seek feedback on implementing of relief measures.
Chouhan asked farmers to alternate crop cycle and not to sow the same crop, especially soybean year after year. He also urged them to save water and power during the next farming season.