FM's Economic Package for Agri Sector Will Do Nothing to Help Farmers in Distress: Left Parties

Left parties on Friday said that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's economic package for the agricultural sector would do nothing to help farmers in distress and is yet another "mega repackaging".

Sitharaman on Friday said the third tranche of economic package will deal with giving relief to agriculture and allied industries.

She said the package would also focus on infrastructure and building capacities in agriculture and allied activities.

"Agricultural distress was deepening even before the (COVID-19) pandemic. Rabi harvest is still not procured at MSP. Kharif sowing will begin in June. There's acute shortage of seeds, fertilisers and other inputs. This package doesn't even recognise this, let alone financially assisting farmers," CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted.

"Mega repackaging once again. Part 3 of the Rs 20 lakh crore financial package on agriculture deals more with post-COVID period rather than addressing the crisis itself and its devastating impact on rural India," he said .

Yechury said all the measures suggested by Sitharaman were mid term and long term. There were no immediate measures to provide relief, he claimed.

"FM had no answers when asked what are the new expenditures! Obfuscation - Modi style," Yechury tweeted.

All India Kisan Sabha president Hannan Mollah also criticised the package and said that it was "conspiracy to permanently lockdown peasant agriculture".

"The package on agriculture announced today by the finance minister is nothing but yet another great betrayal of peasantry. The package did not heed the demands of peasantry for immediate provision of Rs 7,500/ month to peasant and agriculture workers households, comprehensive loan waiver to free the peasant households from indebtedness among others," he said.

CPI general secretary D Raja also said that none of the measures announced could address the ground situation of hunger and joblessness.

"Most of it ongoing schemes. Clear attempt to centralise powers in the hands of Union government. The package failed to address the current crisis, problem of migrants, daily wagers and the poor.How can India justify the hunger deaths?" asked Raja.