Claims of doubling the income of farmers a farce: Qazi Nizamuddin
On the second day of the winter session of Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha, the opposition Congress party raised the issue of farmers and the pending payments of the sugarcane growers. While inside the assembly the Congress MLAs raised the issue forcefully, outside it the assault on the government was led by former chief minister Harish Rawat himself who sat on a protest fast on the issue.
As soon as the Assembly proceedings started with the question hour, the Congress members demanded work adjournment motion on the issue of sugarcane farmers. The Manglaur MLA, Qazi Nizamuddin demanded that the speaker should allow discussion on the topic under rule 310. The other Congress MLAs including the Leader of Opposition (LoP), Indira Hridayesh supported the demand of the Manglaur MLA.
The speaker struck down the demand but allowed discussion under rule 58 after the end of question hour. Initiating the debate on the issue, Qazi Nizamuddin termed the state government’s claim of doubling the income of the farmers as farce. He claimed that contrary to the assertion of the government on increasing the income of the farmers, the fact remains that the expenditure of the farmers has increased in last few years and the support prices have not increased in proportion. Buttressing his claim with data, the Congress MLA said that in the year 2017-18 sugarcane was purchased at a rate of Rs 325 per quintal and at that time diesel was costing Rs 61.33 per litre, in the year 2018-19, sugarcane was purchased at Rs 327 per quintal but the diesel became costlier at Rs 64.42 per litre.
In the year 2018-19, the state government is yet to declare the price of sugarcane and the diesel price has further mounted to Rs 66 per litre. The member added that the prices of the fertilizers (DAP and Urea) have also increased in last three years. Nizamuddin told the Assembly that during the regime of UPA, five per cent VAT was there on the farm equipment but the NDA government has imposed a GST of 18 per cent on tractors which is equivalent to what is charged on luxury cars. He said that the sugar mills are not clearing dues of the farmers.
The LoP, Indira Hridayesh said that eight farmers have committed suicide and the sugarcane farmers are under distress. The Congress MLAs, Govind Singh Kunjwal, Mamta Rakesh and Furkan Ahmed also participated in the discussion. In his reply, the parliamentary affairs minister Madan Kaushik said that the state government has consistently increased the purchase price of sugarcane. He assured the house that the support price of sugarcane would be declared in next seven days.
Friday, 06 December 2019 | PNS | Dehradun