Let’s give farmers their genuine due

    Since 2014, Maharashtra’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government has been calling its budgets ‘farmer-centric’. But in 2016-2017, it went as far as dedicating the year to the farmer.

    Thousands of farmers braving the heat and marched steadily towards Mumbai. The anger in them was palpable as they rightly said that they had been ‘betrayed’ by the government to keep its promises- comprehensive loan waiver and increase in farmer incomes.

    The government was elected after offering assurances of governance, ensuring a more just policy regime for farmers and reining in the state’s failing fiscal health. However, Devendra Fadnavis government for four years on seems to be floundering on all those fronts.

    Even after introducing several schemes for farmers, the government’s debt is ever increasing. This is due to the government’s fiscal management has been tardy.

    To top it all, the government has launched a spending spree on memorials and on and media management.

    The government intends to spend over Rs 2,500 crore on building a grand memorial for Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Mumbai. It has also allocated Rs 300 crore in this year’s budget, after having appointed Larsen & Toubro to build the memorial, earlier this year.

    Nevertheless, the Devendra Fadnavis has given a written assurance to the farmers to take measures to meet their demands. The government agreed to waive off farmers’ loans but rich landlords and agriculturalist should not be included in it. The acres of land should be kept out of waiver schemes.