Farmers' unrest: Congress demands loan waiver for Uttarakhand peasants

Dehradun: Terming as "a shame for Uttarakhand" the alleged suicide by a debt-ridden farmer in Pithoragarh district recently, the opposition Congress on Thursday demanded an immediate loan waiver for the cultivators of the state on the lines of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

In a letter to Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Pritam Singh said the farmer's suicide in Pithoragarh district is a "wake up call" which cannot be ignored.

He said concrete steps need to be taken immediately including a loan waiver to farmers in the lines of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, provide interest-free loans to them, fixing minimum support prices (MSPs) for their produce at a rate 1.5 times higher than their investment and payment of the dues to sugarcane growers to prevent the problem of farmers' suicide from tightening its grip on the state.

"Uttarakhand had remained untouched by farmers' suicide until recently when a debt-ridden farmer of Daul Dungar village in Berinag block of Pithoragarh district committed suicide due to his inability to repay the loans he had taken from banks. This is a proof that the problem afflicting other parts of the country has begun to infect Uttarakhand now. On an average 35 farmers commit suicide every day in different parts of the country," the PCC president said in the letter.

Terming the alleged suicide as an "embarrassment" for the state, Singh listed six demands related to farmers which should be fulfilled immediately in accordance with the commitments made by the BJP in its vision document.

The other demands put forward by the PCC chief included making electricity available to farmers for agricultural activity at half the market price and a compensation of Rs one crore to the family of the deceased farmer in Pithoragarh.

Updated Date: Jun 22, 2017 19:41 PM

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