Amid Delhi Farmers March, A Jibe From Ex-PM Over ‘Ease Of Doing Business’

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HD Deve Gowda cited the farm loan waiver scheme announced by the Karnataka government (PTI)

Bengaluru:

Supporting the farmers' march in New Delhi, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda Friday said, along with "ease of doing business", India should also better itself in "ease of doing agriculture".

Referring to the Karnataka government's farm loan waiver initiative, the JD(S) chief urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to issue proper direction to banks who are issuing notices to farmers and creating uncertainties.

"Modi Government and BJP are boasting about betterment of India's position in the 'Ease of Doing Business' index. But, with 'Ease of Doing Business', India should also better itself in 'Ease of Doing Agriculture'. This is very important @narendramodi avare (sic)," Deve Gowda tweeted.

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Noting that agriculture is still the backbone of Indian economy, the former prime minister, in another tweet, said, "Eradication of poverty, employment generation, rural development are all possible if India betters itself in 'Ease of Doing Agriculture' too."

Thousands of farmers from across the country, who have been camping at the Ramlila ground in Delhi since Thursday, began their march to Parliament Street on Friday amid heavy policy deployment, to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.

Mr Gowda cited the farm loan waiver scheme announced by the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka headed by his son chief minister HD Kumaraswamy as an example for "ease of doing agriculture."

"With farmers' loan waiver scheme, Karnataka is bettering itself in 'Ease of Doing Agriculture'. Meanwhile, @narendramodi should direct nationalised and commercial banks who are issuing notices to farmers and are creating uncertainties," he tweeted.

Farmers had recently staged a protest against a private bank in many parts of Karnataka after arrest warrants were served on some of them for non-repayment of loans, prompting chief minister Kumaraswamy to direct the officials concerned to resolve the issue at the earliest.

The Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government announced about Rs 49,000 crore farm loan waiver in the state soon after coming to power, fulfilling an electoral promise made by Mr Gowda's party.

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