Congress promises farm loan waiver if voted to power

With an eye on crucial rural votes, the Congress on Saturday promised a farmer-centric paradigm shift in Indian agriculture.

New Delhi: With an eye on crucial rural votes, the Congress on Saturday promised a farmer-centric paradigm shift in Indian agriculture and said it would waive off loans of all small and marginal farmers in the country on the pattern of the farm loan waiver programme of the UPA govt in 2009 if voted to power.

In a special resolution on agriculture, employment and poverty alleviation at its 84th Plenary Session, the party said it had always stood with the farmers, through their trails and tribulations from Champaran and Bardoli to Bhatta Parsaul and Mandsaur.

“We strongly condemn the police atrocities, abuse of power, firing and lathicharge against farmers. We express deep grief and extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families,” it said, adding that the party resolves to bring in a farmer-centric paradigm shift in the Indian agriculture and restore profitability, taking a humanitarian and compassionate approach to enhance farmer’s incomes, ensuring dignity to farmers, good education to their children, healthcare to their families and financial and social security through pensions to farmers and farm workers

The resolution which was moved by Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said that the party intends to provide interest free loans to cover input costs to tenant farmers, sharecroppers and farmers owning and cultivating upto two hectares of land as done by the Congress governments in Haryana and Rajasthan.

The Congress resolves to review the methodology used by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices to determine the MSP to guarantee remunerative income to the farmers, factoring all relevant input costs, including warehousing and transportation. The party shall expand the MSP regime to other crops and forest produce of tribal community and expand the procurement process to ensure that the farmer gets MSP benefits, it said.

It promised to put India on the high job growth trajectory, opening up new avenues for the youth.

Asserting that the Congress had uplifted the rural economy though its flagship programme of MANREGA, it said it will review this programme to increase employment by linking it with agriculture and other developmental activities in the rural areas.

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