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Should Farmers get Pension or Scholarship?

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

The farming community since long has been cultivating and hence is called the Annadata. It is the farmer who provides food for the entire society. He sometimes takes loan to purchase seeds, fertilizers and still does not get the right price for his produce. The State Government in Madhya Pradesh has waived farm loan giving some relief to the farmers in distress. It is also trying to pay pension to the farmers after the age of 60.  

Does a farmer really get retired or he becomes more expert in his profession. In our opinion, the pension should not be paid to the farmers rather they should be given scholarship.  Small farmers who have attained age of 60 and have no alternative source of income other than farming are eligible for pension. They should not have more than 2.5 acre of agriculture land each to be the beneficiary under the scheme. 

After announcing to write off farm loans, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath is ready to take up another determined task to start pension for peasants who are 60 years of age. He has ordered the state agriculture department to carry out a survey to identify the farmers who fulfilled the criteria being set by the government, to obtain proposed monthly pension of Rs 1,000 each, informed an official spokesman. 

The Congress party in its election manifesto had promised to write off farm loans besides providing pension to the old-aged peasants. Madhya Pradesh will be the first state in India to introduce pension for farmers. 

A spokesman of state agriculture department said “We are making data on beneficiaries of the proposed pension scheme for farmers. It is estimated tentatively that around 10 lakh farmers may be benefited by the proposal and it may cost state exchequer Rs 12,000 crore to implement the scheme”. 

In the meantime, the exercise to fix parameters for waiving farm loans in the state is going on. An official panel has also been constituted to give final shape to the loan waiver scheme. The panel has been divided to visit states of Punjab and Maharashtra to study their modalities on implementation of farm loan waiver there. 

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