New Delhi: At a time when many states are reeling under severe drought, President Pranab Mukherjee has recommended consideration of a private member’s bill that provides for protective measures for farmers of arid, desert and drought-prone areas and a welfare fund with an initial corpus of Rs 10,000 crore.
The Farmers of Arid and Desert Areas (Welfare and Other Special Provisions) Bill, 2014 was introduced by senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha in December 2014. The bill, if enacted, will involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.
“It is estimated a sum of Rs 20,000 crore may be involved as recurring expenditure per annum. A non-recurring expenditure of Rs 5000 crore may also be involved from the Consolidated Fund of India. A non-recurring expenditure of Rs 5000 crore may also be involved from the Consolidated Fund of India,” the Financial Memorandum of the Bill says.
Under the rules, a Bill which, if converted into a law and brought into operation would involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, cannot be passed by Parliament unless the President has recommended to that House its consideration.
In a letter to the Rajya Sabha Secretary General a few days back, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has stated that the President, having been informed about the subject matter of the particular private member’s bill has recommended its consideration under article 117(3) of the Constitution by the Rajya Sabha.
The Upper House has listed the bill for consideration, which seeks to provide for the establishment of welfare fund for farmers of arid and desert areas with initial corpus of Rs 10,000 crore to be provided by the central government.