Congress issues white paper on farmer suicides

Bhubaneswar: In a move which is seen as a veiled slap at the ruling Biju Janata Dal, the Opposition Congress today issued a white paper on farmer suicide cases and the drought situation in the State.

Lambasting the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan said the ruling party, instead of assessing the drought situation and standing by the farmers during drought, is organizing rallies.

“The government should immediately issue notification on the announcements it has made to mitigate drought in the State. The declarations bear no meaning without government notification,” Harichandan said.

Stating that though the government has already declared a number of sops for the drought-affected farmers, the Congress leader said it is yet to take steps for implementation of these announcements.

“We demand the drought-hit farmers must get Rs 20,000 per acre for crop loss. Besides, their land holding tax and water cess must be waived off,” he stated.

The whitepaper contains data on drought-hit regions and farmers who had ended lives for alleged crop loss and burden of agriculture loan.

Reacting on the demands, the ruling party said it would notify at proper time.

“We are waiting for the crop-cutting report and then all the declarations would be notified,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said.