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UP govt to waive farmers loans: Centre

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Thursday said the newly elected government in Uttar Pradesh would waive loans of farmers in the state and the financial burden would be borne by the Centre.

The Agriculture Minister, however, did not give any assurance to Opposition members who were demanding similar waiver to farmers of other states as well.

The minister was replying during the discussion on Demand for Grants for the Agriculture Ministry. The Demand for Grants were passed unanimously amid a walkout by Congress and Shiv Sena members saying they were not happy with the minister's reply.

Mr Singh said the Union Government wants to join hands with the state government to carry out welfare activities of farmers. The Centre was already providing 3 per cent interest subvention and 4 % subvention was provided by the states, he said. Mr Singh said the government has adopted an integrated approach and conducted a series of activities in agriculture, horticulture and agriculture-related allied sectors so as to double farmers' income by 2022.

Responding to Opposition charges that the government has done little to imrpove farmers' income, the minister said the Centre is stressing on allied sectors, including animal husbandry, poultry and fisheries.

He said unlike the previous government, the present government’s investment in the agriculture sector is more than its allocation, which shows its commitment to addressing farmers' problems. During his 90-minute reply, the minister stressed on joint efforts of the states as well as the Centre to promote the agriculture sector.