SHILLONG, April 27 - The Congress MDC of Rambrai-Jyrngam, Bajop Pyngrope has highlighted the dire straits of the farmers under his constituency who are struggling to procure tools required for agricultural purpose.
�The spade is the main tool for the farmers in the cultivation season and if the government can address this problem of the farmers, it will be very conducive because they are out of cash owing to the lockdown. If agricultural activities are affected at this crucial juncture, the farmers will incur great loss for the entire year,� Pyngrope said on Sunday.
He also said that the Agriculture Department should enhance free distribution of seeds, manure, etc., and also subsidise all the agricultural implements to ease the burden on the farmers who are also constantly facing wrath of Mother Nature by way of occasional hailstorm and heavy rainfall.
He said all the agricultural implements should be disbursed in every district headquarter so that the farmers can go and collect them from their respective districts.
He also ridiculed the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) scheme which is a Central programme that grants only Rs 6,000 a year to the farmers. He said this is too meagre an amount for a section that is considered as the backbone of the country.
He also criticised the new Executive Committee (EC) in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and said that it should have summoned a meeting of all MDCs to discuss and address the problems faced by the people during the lockdown.
�As 97 percent of our state falls under the Sixth Schedule area, it is high time the District Council coordinates with the state government to be able to provide more help to the people of the state during this crisis,� he added.
Had the EC called for an all-party meeting on social distancing and other safety measures, the members could have shared their ideas and implemented them in a more conducive manner, he felt.
�This is not the time to play politics. The need today is to take a collective decision to address this crisis and to examine from where funds can be mobilised to help the people,� he said.
He also said that the decision of the State Government to increase fuel prices is an embarrassment at this point of time when the international price of fuel has come down. The Meghalaya government has increased taxes on petrol and diesel in a bid to augment its resources.