This year Gujarat is expected to produce 1.20 crore bales of cotton. Each year, it exports cotton bales to China as well as other nations. Moreover, owing to bumper produce of cotton in these countries, export of cotton bales has taken a hit.
The Gujarat government on Monday announced relief of R1,100 crore for farmers, including R500 crore relief in electricity bills and R600 crore relief in interest on short-term loan through 50% waiver. Over and above this, the state extended R700 crore assistance to farmers during the ongoing statewide Ravi Krishi Mahotsav.
The relief has been announced as farmers have taken R21,000 crore as short term crop loan from cooperative and nationalised banks and as per this, they will need to pay R11,00 crore as interest. The state has decided to pay half of this amount from its exchequer to provide relief.
Meanwhile, reprots suggest that Bharatiya Kisan Sanghâ€™s Gujarat unit president Magan Patel welcomed the announcement but said the government has accepted only 50% demands of farmers.
The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), an offshoot of the Sangh Parivar, held a protest against the Gujarat government in Ahmedabad on Monday after talks on the minimum support price (MSP) for cotton farmers failed.
Farmers in several parts of the drought-prone Saurashtra have resorted to hunger strikes and boycotted the state government's Ravi Krishi Mahotsav (agricultural festival) to press for increase in MSP on every 20 kg of cotton.
The BKS, during a meeting with state government officials, was not happy with the government's 'reasonable price' offer. The farmers have demanded Rs.1,000 for every 20 kg of cotton as against the Rs.800 being offered by the government. .
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