In a budgetary consultation on agriculture with the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA) a of the largest consortiums of farmers in the country listed it as the first demand.
why they sought liberalisation, policies and reforms in this year Budget,said Chengal Reddy, Secretary General of CIFA.
The consortium said that the Government ought to approve FDI in multi-brand retail, remove restrictions on sugar levy and release, liberalise export, permit commodity trading and implement Aadhar card to enable direct money subsidy to farmers and PDS beneficiaries.
Farmers said unremunerative prices and high labour cost are the most critical issues and MGNREGA ought to be linked to agriculture. The consortium also sought priority lending status for dairy sector at interest of four percent to check increase in milk cost.
Aadhar, which has the potential check misuse of subsidies, is in a limbo after rejection from the standing committee on finance. Farmers require Aadhar project to go on as this will cease pilferage of fertilizer, kerosene, PDS and other subsidies.
Reddy said that Mukherjee, who was accompanied by Agriculture Secretary PK Basu and Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices chairman Ashok Gulati, told the delegation of farmers the budget would concentrate on increasing agri production (to fulfill NFSM grain requirement), reducing production variations (to check steep inflation) and reforms.