Bajpai for subsidised diesel for farmers
AGRICULTURE MINISTER Ashok Bajpai urged the Central government to exempt farmers from the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products and to develop a parallel distribution system to provide subsidised agriculture inputs, including diesel, to the farmers.india Updated: Jun 09, 2006 01:11 IST
AGRICULTURE MINISTER Ashok Bajpai urged the Central government to exempt farmers from the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products and to develop a parallel distribution system to provide subsidised agriculture inputs, including diesel, to the farmers.
In a letter written to the Central government, Union Finance Minister PC Chidambaram and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Ashok Bajpai expressed serious concern over deteriorating financial condition of farmers in the wake of unprecedented increase in agriculture inputs, which had made farming a loss-incurring venture. He underlined the need for a special subsidy package to pull them out from the financial crisis.
Talking to Hindustan Times here on Thursday, Bajpai suggested that a special quota of petroleum products should be reserved at every petrol pumps for farmers to ensure regular supply of diesel etc. to them. Besides, the Central government must join hands with state governments to ensure timely and cost-effective supply of agriculture inputs like seeds, fertilizer, petroleum products and other inputs to check exploitation of farmers by middlemen and profit-hungry traders.
The agriculture minister expressed confidence that the Central government, particularly the Agriculture ministry, would take a serious note of farmers’ pitiable condition and take remedial measures without any delay.
More and more farmers, Bajpai said, were quitting traditional farming to adopt export-oriented crops like ‘safed moosli’ etc. to get better returns. But this could become a serious problem in the long term as ultimately it would adversely affect produce of traditional food grains which were the basic requirements to feed over 100 crore people of the country, he said.