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BJP manifesto promises annual income support, pension, interest-free loan for farmers

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

New Delhi: In a bid to woo the farming community, the BJP, in its manifesto released yesterday, announced a slew of measures including Rs 6,000 as annual income support, interest-free loan up to Rs one lakh and pension for farmers above the age of 60 years.

The party has been making extra efforts to placate farmers after it lost the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly elections held in December last year, primarily due to agrarian distress.

Besides farmers, the party also announced pension scheme for shopkeepers, another section of the society which was apparently upset with the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

According to the BJP's manifesto or 'Sankalp Patra (document of resolve)', if the party is voted to power again, it would invest Rs 25 lakh crore in the next five years in agriculture and rural areas and is committed to bringing down the percentage of families living below the poverty line to a single digit during the same period.

Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is committed to doubling farmers' income by 2022.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, the government is providing Rs 6,000 yearly income support to farmers owning land up to two hectares. Once voted to power, this support would be provided to all farmers across the country, he said.

"We will launch a pension scheme for all small and marginal farmers in the country so as to ensure social security to them on reaching 60 years of age and will provide short-term new agriculture loans up to Rs one lakh at a zero interest rate for one to five years on the condition of prompt repayment of the principal amount," the BJP manifesto stated.

The party also said that it would make enrolment under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana voluntary.

With an aim to achieve self-sufficiency in the food sector, the BJP pledged to launch an oil seeds mission to increase its production and provide subsidised sugar at Rs 13 per kg per family monthly to the 80 crore families covered under the National Food Security (NFS) Act.

The manifesto stated that it will allocate Rs 10,000 crores to ensure availability of storage and marketing tools and infrastructure like ice-boxes, cold storage, ice-plants and others for small and traditional fishermen.

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