Rotting Deal

The Finance Minister in an emergency meeting with the press on Wednesday said fertiliser subsidies was to be increased significantly from the Rs. 2 billion allocation this year. rn

rnChoksy said the farming community deserved an increased subsidy, given the two subsequent bumper harvests. rn

rnThe relief measure however, goes against earlier statements from related Ministries, who said that the fertiliser subsidy will stay constant with the allocation for 2003. rn

rnIn addition to the subsidy hike, Minister Choksy says the budget also included proposals to ease or remove the debt burden of farmers who had accumulated loans over the 1994-2000 stretch. rn

rnThe budget also proposes relief and many incentives for the agro sector, the Minister added. rn

rnThe Minister says all this is now jeopardised, adding that they will take every possible measure under the constitution to pass the 2004 Budget that is intended to bring relief to voters. rn

rnIn case the budget is not taken up, the government co