Chandigarh: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Thursday lashed out at the BJP-led Central government for failing to come to the rescue of the beleaguered farmers and said that farmer suicides will continue in Punjab and other states if Centre does not give up its apathy to the farming community.
He lambastedthe Centre over its continued indifference to the woes of the farmers. The states cannot do everything on their own, without the Central government’s help, he said, acknowledging that the loan waiver scheme announced by his government was not enough to alleviate all the sufferings of the farmers in the state.
With loan amounts of many farmers more than what his government was currently waiving off, their plight continued to be acute, said Capt. Singh.
Pointing out that his government had inherited a huge Rs 2.08 lakh crore debt, the chief minister said the loan waiver scheme was the best he could have done in the circumstances.
Even the prime minister and thefinance minister, whom he had personally met to seek help for the farmersseveral times, had failed to realise the criticality of the situation and hadimplemented only a small part of the Swaminathan report, he said, demanding intoto implementation of the recommendations of the committee.
His government’s loanwaiver scheme was only a temporary solution to the problems of the distressedfarmers and the Centre had to step in if a permanent solution had to be found,Captain Amarinder Singh asserted. Meanwhile, however, he said the stategovernment would continue to find ways of helping the farmers, includingdiversification initiatives. His government would also soon come out with a loanwaiver scheme for the landless labourers, who were also reeling under huge debtburdens, the Chief Minister announced.
Captain Amarinder Singh also hit out at the Centre for failing to provide compensation to farmersagainst stubble burning, which was one of the causes for air pollution in thestate. He, however, categorically denied Punjab’s responsibility for pollutionin Delhi, which he attributed to local reasons in the national capital.