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Amarinder hits out at SAD chief for lauding Union Budget as pro-poor, pro-farmer

Amarinder hits out at SAD chief for lauding Union Budget as pro-poor, pro-farmer

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday slammed SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal for praising the Union Budget as pro-poor and pro-farmer.

The chief minister claimed that even agriculture experts and farmer bodies have rejected the Budget as totally bereft of any initiative to save the agrarian sector.

"While the BJP was blinded by power and could not see the problems faced by the farmers, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president was apparently so blinded by his sycophant love for the ruling party that he could see nothing wrong in their actions," Singh was quoted as saying in an official statement.

Despite having three ministers from the state in the Union Cabinet, the BJP-Akali combine have failed to secure a debt-relief scheme for the farmers, who continue to reel under massive debt burdens, not just in Punjab but across the country, he said.

"With this measly allocation, which comes nowhere near meeting the needs of the farmers, how does Sukhbir hope to see the farmers' income getting doubled in the next two years. And without farmers uplift, there was no possibility of rural consumption going up, which would naturally scuttle economic growth even further," the chief minister claimed.

Singh said while his government was doing its best in Punjab, a holistic national policy, encompassing debt waiver, MSP for all crops and diversification were the only long-term solution to the problem.

"Nothing has, unfortunately, been proposed in the Budget to encourage crop diversification, despite the fact that buffer stocks of food grains are already putting the states and farmers under extreme stress," he pointed out.

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