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Centre failed to double farmers’ income, says Harsimrat Kaur in LS

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New Delhi, Feb :  Former union minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday said the Central government has failed to double farmers’ income, increase employment and control inflation.

Speaking after the President’s Address in the Lok Sabha, Badal said: “Even though the President had stressed that improving the lot of farmers, poor and youth was the focus of the Union government, the same has not been supported with data.”

Asserting that the data was to the contrary, the Bathinda MP said even though the Union government had promised to double farmers’ income by 2022, this promise remained elusive.

“As per the data of the National Statistical Office (NSO), the average income of agriculture households increased from Rs 8,000 per month in 2015 to only Rs 10,000 per month in 2019.”

The Shiromani Akali Dal leader said in stark contrast the NSO data revealed that the average debt of farmers had increased by 58 per cent in the same period.

“As many as 10,880 farmers also committed suicide in 2021 as per the Centre for Science and Environment,” she added.

Stating that farmers were most indebted in Punjab with small farmers in the state incurring a debt of Rs 3 lakh per farmer, she said the issues of farmers were also not being addressed.

“Despite a clear cut undertaking by the Central government that a sub-committee would be formed to make minimum support price (MSP) a legal right of farmers, the same was not done,” the former Union Minister said.

She said even as there was an 80 per cent increase in agriculture inputs, the increase in the MSP was increased by 30 per cent only. She said how there was a 26 per cent decrease in the Kisan Samman Nidhi beneficiaries in Punjab which was contributing the most to the national food kitty.

She said similarly even though crop insurance companies had earned Rs 57,000 crore, farmers in Punjab did not get any compensation for successive crop losses even though its Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had promised to release compensation for crop losses even before the conduct of the ‘girdawari’.

Talking about the menace of drugs in the country, Badal said the situation was precarious in Punjab with drones from Pakistan flying in drugs into the state.

“A demographic disaster is taking place but the Central government is yet to come out with a concrete policy to stop the influx of drugs into Punjab from across the border,” she added.

IANS

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