Congress Criticizes PM Modi Over Delayed Fund Release for Farmers
Congress Criticizes PM Modi Over Delayed Fund Release for Farmers

The Congress party has criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for releasing the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi fund, which was delayed by a month due to the election code. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh stated on Monday that this release does not constitute a special favor to the farmers, as it is their rightful entitlement according to government policy.

Ramesh argued that if the Prime Minister truly cared about farmers, he would take more substantial actions such as granting legal status to the minimum support price (MSP) for crops, announcing a farm loan waiver, and ensuring guaranteed insurance payments are deposited directly into farmers' bank accounts.

On his first day of his third term as Prime Minister, Modi signed the authorization for the 17th installment of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi fund, amounting to nearly Rs 20,000 crore. This installment is set to benefit approximately 9.3 crore farmers. Modi declared, "Ours is a government fully committed to 'kisan kalyan' (farmers' welfare). It is, therefore, fitting that the first file signed on taking charge is related to it. We want to keep working even more for farmers and the agriculture sector in the times to come."

Ramesh accused the Prime Minister of dramatizing the routine administrative task of signing off on the fund release, portraying it as a grand gesture. He pointed out that the 16th installment, due in January 2024, was delayed by a month due to electoral considerations, and the 17th installment, due in April/May 2024, was postponed due to the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct.

"Aap chronology samajhiye: The 16th installment of PM Kisan Nidhi was due in January 2024 but was delayed by a month for the prime minister's electoral calculus ... The 17th installment of PM Kisan Nidhi was due in April/May 2024 but was delayed by the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct," Ramesh explained in a post on X.

Ramesh stressed that the Prime Minister's actions are simply fulfilling the government's obligations to the farmers, rather than providing any extraordinary benefits. He further suggested that Modi often presents routine decisions as major gifts to the public, adding that Modi perceives himself as more than just a regular leader.

Ramesh outlined five specific actions the Prime Minister should take if he genuinely cares about farmers' welfare:

  • Legal Status to MSP: Implementing the Swaminathan Commission's formula to provide fair pricing for crops.
  • Farm Loan Waiver: Establishing a Permanent Commission to effectively manage and implement loan waivers.
  • Guaranteed Insurance Payments: Ensuring direct transfer of insurance payouts to farmers' bank accounts within 30 days of crop loss.
  • Fair Import-Export Policy: Consulting farmers to develop a balanced import-export policy for agricultural products.
  • GST-Free Farming: Removing GST on essential farming inputs.

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