The non-performing assets (NPA) crisis in the country is not because of loan waivers to farmers, stated BJP Lok Sabha member Varun Gandhi on Friday as he backed the UPA government’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) scheme.
Labeling students at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), where he also launched his book A Rural Manifesto: Realising India’s Future Through her Villages, Varun said, “I need to make it clear that the NPA crisis today is not because of farmers loan waivers. When we study every rupee of loan waiver to farmers in last 40 years to the loan waivers or the fiscal subsidies to the 40 biggest industrial groups in India, where we are talking about 70 percent of the people against only 0.02 percent of people, the total loan given to farmers is 23 percent of the loans to 40 richest families.”
Addressing the MNREGA scheme of the UPA era, a good policy, he said, “It is a misconception to say that the scheme is a failure.”
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had once known the scheme a “living monument of UPA’s failure” to tackle poverty.
However, Varun commented, “What is a failure is the payment timeline. What needs to be done for MGNREGA or any other national health protection scheme, like Ayushman Bharat, is that these required to be sub-planted with certain different things.
On political reforms, the Sultanpur BJP MP said that the country required a direct democracy.
“To take up an issue in the Parliament, you have to go to your local MP. But nothing much will come out of it. Over 60 countries in the world have a petition system where cemented on the number of signatures or e-signatures, as per law, you can have the one-hour discussion in the Parliament. This is what we call direct democracy. This is what we need in our country,” he said.
Studying the data of the last Lok Sabha elections, Varun said, the richest candidates had won 84 percent of the times. However, the poorest candidate in every district had lost his or her deposit. “Has politics become a way of life in which money is the only article? That is the question I ask myself. The only way to look at it is through election reforms,” he said.