Expressing her inability to attend the chief ministers’ meeting convened by Niti Aayog in Delhi on Thursday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee has suggested the Centre to increase the income of farmers as well as to waive off their loans. The Sub-Group of chief ministers will meet at 11 am on 12 July to discuss the coordination of policy approach on agriculture sector and MGNREGA.
In a letter written to the subgroup convenor Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Miss Banerjee expressed her inability to attend the meeting at such a short notice as she is away from the state headquarter, visiting the districts of north Bengal for holding administrative review meetings.
Even though Miss Banerjee is unable to attend the meeting, she has sent a host of suggestions for consideration of the sub-group.
Miss Banerjee said that all attempts have to be made to increase the income of the farmers within the shortest possible time and for which all government programmes have to be converged on farmer’s welfare.
She has urged that during the 100 days work under MGNREGS approval should be given to run another 100 days work for better convergence of agriculture and horticulture sectors as well as enhancement of income and livelihood of farmers.
She has also suggested to waive off institutional loans of small and marginalised farmers. Minimum support price has to be declared for procurement of major crops of different states and a mechanism should be introduced so as to ensure that farmers get the minimum support price, her letter stated.
All farmers including the landless and the labourers should be covered under the Kisan Credit Card scheme and the KCC holders should be able to get an average loan starting from Rs two lakh.
Along with this, necessary subsidy should be provided on exports of farmers’ produce. She emphasised on introducing schemes through convergence for water harvesting to arrest surface run off and recharging ground water. Infact MGNREGA funds can be used along with those from other departments for running such schemes.
She even gave the instance of a similar scheme ~ ‘Jal Dharo Jal Bharo’ ~ run by the state government and its outcome. CM further suggested convergence of major government schemes run by departments including MGNREGA for proper utilisation of resources and manpower. Earlier, it was a rare occasion for Banerjee to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Niti Aayog meeting on 17 June in Delhi.