On Budget day, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said that the government should provide a separate budget for farmers to address various issues of the farming community. He also sought a waiver of agricultural loans of farmers.
Speaking at the Ghazipur border where farmers have been protesting for the last two months against the newly enacted farm laws, Tikait said that there should be a separate budget for the agriculture sector, adding that as farmers are facing tough times the government should also waive the loans of farmers.
He added that there should be a scheme to provide free electricity to farmers.
"A separate fund for agricultural work under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act) should be announced to give regular payment to farm labours," he added.
Referring to the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme which aims to provide income support to all landholder farmer families across the country, Tikait said that the income support can be raised.
Under the scheme, income support of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments will be provided to small and marginal farmer families having combined landholding and ownership of upto 2 hectares, (source:https://pmkisan.gov.in/).
The farmer leader further said that the increase in the price of crops will not pave the way for the regeneration of the agricultural sector and farmers, and the government needs to put more effort into the sector and work on electricity and water availability to farmers.
Farmers from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar are paying different bills for water and electricity but getting the same price on the crops, this inequality should be recovered, he added.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union leader also requested the centre to exempt farm machinery from tax.