Budget fails to live up to expectations: Punjab farmers

Budget fails to live up to expectations: Punjab farmers

Chandigarh, Feb 1 (PTI) Expressing displeasure with the union budget, some Punjab farmer groups today said the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has again played a "joke" with them and his budget has "failed" to live up to their expectations.

They said the budget announcement of fixing support prices for crops at least 50 per cent higher than the cost of production is a "mere bluff" and it ignored the main issue of addressing debt problem which was forcing many debt ridden growers to commit suicides.

"The finance minister in his budget has again played a hoax with the farmers by announcing that MSP will be raised 1.5 times of the input cost. He has tried to play a bluff game with the farmers," said Bhartiya Kisan Union (Mann) said here.

Mann said, "There is a lot of debate on the cost of production and there is lot of confusion created by so called agriculture experts and economists."

Reeling out several figures and calculations, he said the farmers expect and demand 50 per cent above the "actual" cost of production.

The Centre said today that support prices for the upcoming Kharif crops like paddy will be fixed at least 50 per cent higher than the cost of production.

Had the government serious about raising the MSP, it should have earmarked funds for the same in the budget, the farmers bodies said.

"Why the government is not implementing the Swaminathan Commission report," asked BKU (Rajewal), President Balbir Singh Rajewal.

The farmers bodies also said the union budget was completely "silent" on addressing the issue of farm debt problem.

"At present, famers are facing debt problem. as a result of which, many farmers are committing suicides. The budget should have announced some thing to address this issue but it remained silent," said BKU (Ekta) general secretary Sukhdev Singh. PTI CHS BJ