Free pumps scheme to hoodwink farmers: Jayalalithaa


Chennai : AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa has ridiculed the Tamil Nadu government’s proposal to give free pump sets for small and marginal farmers, saying it was aimed at hoodwinking peasants.

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During his Independence Day speech, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi announced free distribution of energy efficient pump sets for small and marginal farmers.

The government subsequently clarified that the scheme would be implemented over the next five years and the energy efficient pumps would result in a 20 percent saving in power consumption in the state.

Leader of Opposition Jayalalithaa, citing news reports that only 10,000 free pump sets will be issued per year, Saturday said here: “There are around 1.9 million farmers in the state and out of that around 1.5 million will be small and marginal farmers.”

By distributing 10,000 pump sets per annum, it would take 150 years to cover the 1.5 million small and marginal farmers. “We have heard five-year plans, but a 150-year plan is nothing but a hoodwinking scheme,” she said.

According to her, the scheme is mainly to hoodwink the farmers who are suffering from power cuts and scarcity of water for irrigation.

She said without taking actions for augmenting the power generation capacity and bringing Cauvery waters from Karnataka to the delta region, such schemes will not be of any use for the Tamil Nadu farmers.