March 7, 2013
Sudip Bandopadhyay speaks on the Govt`s duty to protect the interest of the farmers
Madam, the Scheme that was implemented was actually named `Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme`. The Government of India had announced very categorically that the implementation of this Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme for farmers would be done by the Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks, all put together. However, it is most unfortunate that in maximum number of cases, those who were selected after a thorough scrutiny have not received any financial assistance. The waiver scheme was not applicable to them. In the report of the Reserve Bank of India, its observation was that ineligible accounts were extended benefits under the scheme. The audit has noted that to provide benefit to ineligible farmers, instances of tampering, over-writing, inadequate documentations etc. had taken place and in addition, benefit was not only extended to farmers directly but in some cases, loans were extended to MFIs and then claimed and disbursed. So naturally, Madam, every one of us should remain concerned with the grave issue. Farmers are fighting for their livelihood. Hungry farmers are fighting with hunger for their livelihood. We should not allow waiver when our attention has been drawn. It is not important whether the responsibility lies with the Government of India or with the State Governments or with anybody else, but it is important to discuss it in detail. Thank you Madam, the situation is so grave that you have given time to all political parties to record their voice in the interests of the farmers. The farmers will, at least, feel that their issue will be discussed and debated in future on the floor of the House in detail. We fully believe that the interests of the farmers are to be protected and the Government should take stern measures against those who are really responsible and guilty for such type of heinous actions and activities.