The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti today demanded that the Maharashtra government should waive off crop loans, provide health care and also food security to farmers.
In a release issued here, the farmers' body demanded that Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungattiwar who is all set to present the first budget of the BJP-Shiv Sena government in the Maharashtra Assembly on March 18, should consider extending benefits of the Antodaya food subsidy scheme and employment guarantee scheme to distressed farmers.
Mungattiwar had invited suggestions from the public in general as well as institutions and stakeholders for the forthcoming Budget and accordingly, the VJAS has drawn Mungattiwar's attention to it, VJAS president Kishore Tiwari said in the release.
Around 90 lakh farmers in Maharashtra suffered this year due to crop failure due to severe drought, Tiwari said, adding that several farmers committed suicides due to crop failures, debts and family responsibilities.
About 4,34,291 farmers in six districts of Vidarbha are in distress and therefore the BJP-SS-led Maharashtra government should provide immediate relief to them, the body said.
The farmers were disappointed by the Union Budget presented recently by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley which did not provide any relief to farmers, the release said.
The Maharashtra state government itself has admitted that 24,811 villages out of a total of 39,453 in Maharashtra are drought affected, Tiwari said in the release.