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JP calls for pro-agriculture policies

KADAPA: Bifurcation of the State is neither a boon nor bane and not a panacea for the problems plaguing a State, Lok Satta State President Jayaprakash Narayan remarked here on Saturday.

It’s a myth that formation of a State would end problems like unemployment, irrigation etc., Dr. Narayan commented at a news conference here. The agriculture sector was in a crisis leaving 1.20 crore families dependent on agriculture in the State in disarray due to lack of remunerative prices and the government’s lopsided policy of negative subsidy, while governments abroad boosted agriculture by giving subsidies, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said.

Calling for pro-agriculture policies, he demanded withdrawal of rural development cess ranging from five to 10 per cent, value-added tax of four per cent and market cess of one per cent on agriculture in AP, he said

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Ban on export

Karnataka levied only a market cess of 1.50 per cent and permitted sale of agriculture produce anywhere in the country. In contrast, the AP government banned exports even to other States. The per capita income of farmers were Rs.15,000 a year, i.e. Rs.40 a day, seven times lower than Rs.4 lakh per annum in industrial and service sector, the Lok Satta president said.

Movement

Calling for a concerted movement by farmers to safeguard the agriculture sector and achieve remunerative prices, he said farmers could call Lok Satta Call Centre on phone No. 40405050.

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While the country needed 1.62 crore tonnes of rice and wheat for public distribution system, he said the Centre had a buffer stock of 4.60 crore tonnes. Nearly 40 per cent of the rice procured was being recycled to PDS through traders and Food Corporation of India, he alleged.

Import duty

On the other hand, 80 per cent of the country’s requirement of oilseeds were being imported without any cess or curbs. Import duty on oilseeds would fetch revenue of Rs.25,000 crore, Dr. Narayan said.

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(source: The Hindu, 14th Nov)

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