Rejecting opposition’s charges that demonetisation has hit rabi sowing, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that there was no impact of note ban decision on sowing of crops of rabi season.
Putting in defence the latest sowing data collected from states till November 18, Singh said, “Post demonetisation, the sowing acreage of wheat, a key crop of rabi season, has increased to 79.40 lakh hectare, which was 78.83 lakh hectare in 2015.
Similarly, the sowing area of pulses has also witnessed an increase from the last year as it has reached 74.55 lakh hectare from 69.98 lakh hectare last year.” While talking to Millennium Post, Singh rejected the claims of Uttar Pradesh government that sowing area has reduced from the last year.
Singh said, “In UP, the sowing area of wheat is 14.82 lakh hectare, which is 0.44 lakh hectare more than the last year’s 14.38 lakh hectare, while the sowing area of pulses has increased by 5.84 lakh hectare from its last year’s coverage. The sowing of oilseeds has also registered 1.45 lakh hectare increase.” Singh further added that total sowing acreage of rabi crops in Uttar Pradesh has increased from 25.91 lakh hectare in 2015-16 to 33.79 lakh hectare till November 18.
“Given the above figures, where is the impact of demonetisation on farmers? As our Prime Minister Narendra Modi always talks about welfare of farmers and poor people, the demonetisation decision is for benefit of farmers and weaker sections of the society,” Singh said, adding that the government has allowed farmers to buy seeds by using old Rs 500 notes.
In case of West Bengal, the sowing area of wheat has also increased from 0.11 lakh hectare in 2015-16 to 0.12 lakh hectare in this rabi season. While sowing area of pulses has been increased from 0.23 lakh hectare to 0.32 lakh hectare.
Terming the decision as a “surgical strike” on black money, the minister said, “With this decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a drive against black money, corruption and terrorism, and the decision will prove to be the last nail in the coffin against black money.”