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DSS, Raitha Sangha to protest `tardy' relief work

Staff Correspondent

Plans to stage a dharna in Bangalore


  • DSS, Raitha Sangha to highlight anti-farmer policies of NABARD
  • Seek increase in compensation money for those hit by rain
  • Call for postponement of elections to taluk and zilla panchayats

    MYSORE: Activists of the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS), Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and other organisations will stage a dharna in front of the Chief Minister's residence in Bangalore on November 23 against the "tardy" relief work being undertaken in the rain affected areas.

    Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, K.S. Puttanaiah, KRRS leader and Working President of Sarvodaya Karnataka Party, said the dharna is being organised also to highlight the plight of farmers who have been affected by "anti-farmer" policies of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

    Loan policy

    The loan policy of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is not beneficial to farmers. "Instead of providing loans to farmers at an affordable interest rate, the policies are aimed at selling tractors to farmers. Unable to repay the loan, farmers will lose tractors. The Gold Card Scheme will only help rich farmers and not small and poor farmers," he said.

    Compensation

    He said though crops and property worth Rs. 1,000 crores have been damaged in the State not much compensation has been given.

    People who have lost their houses have been given only Rs. 1,000.

    The compensation money has to be increased to enable their rehabilitation properly.

    Lacks publicity

    Mr. Puttanaiah said the loan provision made to the unorganised sector lacks publicity.

    "Twenty years ago, the Government gave Rs. 6,250 at the rate of four per cent, but not many knew about it. The Government should increase the loan amount to Rs. 20,000 and give adequate publicity to enable the needy to make use of the facility," he added.

    Support price

    On the minimum support price announced by the Government, he said the amount should be increased.

    While Rs. 700 has been announced as the minimum support price for a quintal, the Government should fix the price between Rs. 600 and Rs. 650 a bag of 50 kg of onions.

    `Postpone polls'

    In the light of devastation caused by the rain, elections to taluk and zilla panchayats should be postponed.

    The money to be spent on the elections should be diverted to relief work in the rain-affected areas, he said.

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