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P Chidambaram Asks Where’s The Money, BJP Plans Big Farm Package After Drubbing in Heartland

P Chidambaram Asks Where's The Money after BJP Drubbing in Heartland

The government’s likely to announced of incentives to boost rural income will come following feedback given by BJP leaders and MPs, besides other stakeholders, they added. The government may announce the new set of measures for farmers before the end of the winter session of Parliament.

Party sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions on a wide ranging farm relief plan with finance minister Arun Jaitley, BJP chief Amit Shah and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh. The timing is significant as it came soon after the BJP was defeated in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the recent state polls, where rural distress was a key factor.

The Congress, after wresting power in the three states, made good on its campaign promise to waive farm loans almost immediately after taking charge. Congress president Rahul Gandhi said his party and others would “not let PM Modi sleep or rest” until an all-India loan waiver scheme was announced.

But sources say the central government’s plan is to go beyond loan waivers. The PM also also remarked on Thursday that Congress’ loan waivers were only meant to win elections, indicating that the BJP may have something else in store.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said BJP already tried but no relief to the indebted farmers

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram took a dig and said the government’s plan is to pay farmers the difference between the minimum support price and market price. He said this was already tried by the BJP in Madhya Pradesh but brought no relief to the indebted farmers.

“The ‘pay the difference’ plan will help only the farmer who has a marketable surplus. What about the farmer who has no marketable surplus? He is also in debt, “P Chidambaram said”.

Chidambaram also said that eight months’ revenue collection was less than 50 per cent of target and the fiscal deficit was 115 per cent of the estimate. “Where is the money for the new plan,” he asked

Party sources said that the Agriculture Ministry has prepared a road map and made a presentation to PM Narendra Modi suggesting both short and long term “sustainable” solutions to various issues that are impacting the farmers and causing agricultural distress in the Nation .

BJP President Amit Shah also met Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh separately late on Thursday, though there was no official word on what transpired in the meeting.

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