NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday said that it is mulling the idea to demand a “farm debt reconciliation commission” along the lines of industry and asserted that it will oppose any move by the government to bring back the three farm laws that were repealed last year.
Addressing a press conference on the second day of the Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir in Udaipur, Rajasthan, former Haryana Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the “green revolution is over and now we need an evergreen revolution”.
He said that the party was proposing the National Farm Debt Relief Commission (NFDRC) to address debt relief of farmers on the lines of the industry. He said that agriculture should be considered an industry as far as banking is concerned.
Hooda also sought a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers, climate change’s effect on agriculture, “poor” implementation of the government’s crop insurance scheme and institutional credit investment.
“Our aim is to go from loan waiver to making farmers debt-free. The consensus is that there should be legal guarantees for it. This is the demand from all farmer unions and as a farmer, I also believe that it should be there,” Hooda said.
Targeting the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre, the Congress leader said: “The government promised to double the income of farmers, but doubled their debt instead.”
Citing the farmers’ debt figures, Hooda said that the debt of farmers stood at Rs 9.64 lakh crore on March 31, 2014, and it now stands at Rs 16.8 lakh crore.
He also highlighted the steps taken by the Congress in states and said the Congress-led state governments provided loan waivers to farmers from time to time.