Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday slammed the decision of Central government making crop insurance voluntary calling it “retrograde” and “anti-farmer.” The former finance minister said that more cropped area needs to be brought under crop insurance and the decision will reduce coverage putting millions of farmers at risk.

“Another example of the BJP government’s shortsightedness and misplaced priorities,” he charged.

“Nothing can be more anti-farmer than the central government”s decision to reduce its contribution to the Crop Insurance Scheme,” he said.

The government on Wednesday made its flagship crop insurance schemes voluntary for farmers with existing crop loans or those willing to take new ones. In a series of tweets, Chidambaram criticised this move as he said, “Making crop insurance voluntary for loanee farmers is another retrograde step”.

“The new decisions will reduce the coverage putting millions of farmers at risk,” the former finance minister added. The former finance minister has been critical of the current BJP government’s economic policies amid the incessantly dropping GDP.