Welcoming the Prime Minister’s (PM) proposal to hold a direct dialogue with farmers on Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh on Tuesday expressed hope it would lead to key initiatives for the welfare of the farming community, including farm loan waiver and implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the CM urged PM Narendra Modi to use the forum for initiating the much-needed reforms in the beleaguered agriculture sector, which was crying for assistance from the Central government.

Reiterating his demand for a national debt waiver scheme for farmers, as well as the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report in totality, Amarinder said the farmers were in dire need for the PM’s intervention on these two counts in order to save the nation from an agricultural disaster.

The CM, who has been pursuing these issues with the Central government for the past several months, hoped that the proposed dialogue by the PM with farmers through his NaMo app would yield concrete results and not turn out to be a mere media operation.

Amarinder Singh pointed out that he had been personally raising the issue of farm debt waiver by the central government, as well as full implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report, at various forums, including the NITI Aayog meeting held on Sunday.

Given the extreme agrarian crisis prevailing in the country, which was witnessing suicides by distressed farmers across states, Modi should seize this opportunity to announce major relief measures for the farming community, said Amarinder.

The CM said if the PM was serious about realising his vision of doubling farm income by 2022, he should waste no further time in announcing total implementation of Swaminathan Committee report.

A one-time debt waiver was also essential to bring the beleaguered farmers out of the current crisis and put them back on the path of prosperity, said the CM adding that Central government’s assistance would help rescue the farming community around the country.

Let this occasion be ‘historical’ in the true sense, said Amarinder, adding that the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report was the only real way to rescue the stressed farmers, who are currently unable to meet both ends as a result of the lopsided existing agriculture policy.

As a nation, we owe this to our farmers, who have fed us through generations and continue to be our ‘Annadattas’, the CM said.