India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Every other country in the world is suffering from low GDP growth rate whereas India is among few which is a growing and a thriving economy. India is an agriculture-based country where agriculture contributes 18% of the GDP and provides employment to more than 50% of the countries workforce. Most of the Indians are directly or indirectly dependent on the agriculture sector some are related directly with agriculture and some are involved indirectly by doing business.
In the last few years, we have seen the sector been hurt by the sudden announcement of the demonetization and the improper implementation of the GST and moreover, the dry spells in many parts of the country saw the outrage of the farmers for the lack of government incentives for the destroyed crops. With many farmers committing suicide the problems are getting much worse for the government and lives of the farmers. With so much of the economy and lives of people depending on the agriculture sector, what promises has the manifesto of Congress put forward for the agriculture sector in the upcoming election 2019?
Here is the list of top 21 agricultural and farming related promises from the Congress manifesto for the election 2019.
Download Full Congress Party Manifesto PDF for the Election 2019 here(Download)
1. With the farmer loans been waived in the Congress-led states Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan, it plans to waive the outstanding farm loans in other states as well.
2. Digitization of the farmlands for the rightful ownership and special focus for women farmers for the there rights and benefits.
3. Special “Ministry of Fisheries and Welfare of Fisherfolks” will be established.
4. Recognition of inland fishing and aquaculture as “agriculture” and providing them with the benefits of agriculture.
5. Formulation of policy for the construction of modern warehouse and food processing facilities.
6. Repealment of the “Agricultural Produce Market Committees Act” and make the trade in agriculture produce including exports and inter-state trade free from all restrictions.
7. Separate “Kisan Budget” will be presented ensuring the priority to the issues in the agriculture sector.
8. Establishment of a permanent “National Commission on Agricultural planning” consisting of farmers, agricultural scientist and agricultural economist with there recommendations binding to the government.
9. Programme to promote horticulture, pisciculture, sericulture for the diversification and greater income for farmers.
10. Special attention to the rich and biodiverse states of North East India in the field of organic farming, horticulture, and sustainable agriculture.
11. Doubling the funding in 5 years for teaching, R&D, agriculture-related pure science s and applied science technology.
12. Changes to the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act 2013 and forest Rights Act 2016 will be made and restored back to the original purpose of the acts.
13. Replacement of the “Essential Commodities Act 1955” by a law that can be invoked only in the case of emergencies.
14. Encouraging the use of mixed fertilizers and pesticides and helping them to get better prices for organic produce and promoting organic farming.
15. Completely redesigning the BJP’s Fasal Bima Yojana by helping farmers with crop insurance offers from the insurance companies and charge premiums on the principle of ‘no profit, no loss’.
16. Criminal proceedings against the farmer who is unable to pay his/her debt will be instituted.
17. Promoting farmer producer companies/organisation to enable farmers to access inputs, technology, and markets.
18. Review the price of agricultural inputs and extending the subsidies where necessary and establishment of facilities to hire farm machinery.
19. Formulating policy on export and import of agricultural products which will support the farmers and enhance their incomes.
20. Improve the old system of “Agriculture Extension Services” with the best knowledge and practices.
21. Establishment of commission on “Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labour” to advice policies and programmes.
With so much at stakes for the 2019 election how much of these promises will actually be able to see the limelight of the farmers and the overall agriculture industry. With voting going on in many states it’s the matter of time we will know whether which of these promises will be fulfilled and which not.