An incentive of ₹5 lakh from the government to brides marrying young farmers is among the demands placed by Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) before Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for inclusion in the coming State Budget.
KRRS leader Badagalapura Nagendra told reporters in Mysuru that many young farmers have remained unmarried even though they have reached 45 years of age. “Finding brides for young farmers has become a social problem because of the neglect of agriculture. In the absence of schemes for making agriculture a prosperous activity, many farmers are abandoning agriculture and migrating to urban areas and becoming urban dwellers or labourers,” he said.
Apart from seeking an incentive of ₹5 lakh for the brides marrying the sons of farmers, Mr. Nagendra also urged the government to sanction a loan of ₹25 lakh at simple interest to help the couple become economically strong by practising agriculture or allied activities.
Mr. Nagendra said a memorandum containing the various demands of the farmers was presented to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a farmers’ rally organised in memory of farmers’ leader Prof. M.D. Nanjundaswamy in Bengaluru on February 10.
The other demands sought by KRRS include waiver of interest on crop loans sanctioned by the cooperative banks. Though the government has already waived interest on long-term and short-term loans availed from cooperative banks, the interest on crop loans has not been waived. Hence, he urged the government to waive the interest on crop loans as well.
The KRRS, which has opposed the implementation of the Electricity Act, has welcomed Mr. Siddaramaiah’s recent announcement to withdraw the amendments made to the Land Reforms Act and APMC Act during the erstwhile BJP government.
He said the amendment to the Land Reforms Act would pave the way for land belonging to small farmers been taken away by capitalists, forcing the farmers to come onto the streets. The government should not only ensure that the land is for the tiller, but also make the laws more farmer-centric, he said.
Mr. Nagendra said the memorandum urges Mr. Siddaramaiah, who is also the Finance Minister, to include a blueprint for farmers’ welfare over the next ten years in the Budget document by outlining the short-term, medium-term and long-term measures for growth of the agriculture sector.
He said Mr. Siddaramaiah has assured to stand by the farmers despite the financial limitations that had arisen on account of the alleged shortfall in the allocation of funds from the Centre.