Farm distress hurt Akalis, continues to haunt Cong - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Farm distress hurt Akalis, continues to haunt Cong


Farm distress hurt Akalis, continues to haunt Cong

Vishav Bharti

The figure could not be more disheartening — 1,000 suicides in the past two years. Despite all the efforts by the government to address the agrarian distress, there has been no let-up in debt-related suicides in the state.

The agrarian crisis was cited as a key factor behind the crushing defeat faced by the SAD-BJP alliance in the 2017 Assembly elections. The Congress promised the moon in its election manifesto. Waiver of farm debt; pension for farmers; compensation for Rs 10 lakh for suicide victim families and a job to one member; enhancing crop damage to Rs 20,000 acre; introduction of health, life and plot-based crop insurance; employment for agricultural labourers — a lot was promised.

After coming to power, one of the government’s first announcements was on debt waiver. But at the same time, there was a U-turn when the CM assured arhtiyas to not touch the debt farmers owed to them. In the past two years, the government has waived around Rs 4,000-crore debt which farmers owed to public sector banks and has also announced to bail out the landless agricultural labourers. However, it remains silent on the arhtiyas and even asked the Centre Government to continue the arhtiya system. 

Experts feel the government initiatives have proved to be a temporary measure. The agrarian crisis is a complex issue and demands permanent measures. On that, the government has nothing much to show.

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