Farmers have to bear the brunt of natural calamities. The recent hailstorm destroyed their crops. AIKMS demanded full and adequate payment of compensation for the farmers. The agrarian sector has been neglected. Here’s a report.
The central executive committee of All India Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (AIKMS) has expressed its deep concern at the massive damage to crops caused by the recent hailstorm. It is the third continuous crop to have suffered loss and farmers will face unprecedented crises, stated the state secretary, Ashish Mital, in a press release.
In the previous years, governments have paid paltry sums of Rs 1500 per acre as compensation in villages, while the input cost was more than Rs. 20,000 per acre. It is assessed at the village level and in UP compensation is paid if the loss is at least between 33 to 40 per cent, while as a matter of principle all farmers should be compensated for losses suffered and to the extent of loss suffered, it was informed.
The release added that the III All India conference of AIKMS shall be held at Allahabad from April 2 to 4 and its constituent state conferences have forcefully raised the demand that each owner’s crop loss should be assessed and fully compensated. It has also demanded that in case of share cropping, the loss should be paid to the share cropper and not the owner. Recently, in Punjab farmers have been agitating for Rs. 40,000 per acre as compensation for loss of cotton crop.
While the government of India and the state government have several schemes for promoting big corporate companies, including land acquisition, building of infrastructure, cheap and assured supply of inputs like coal, water, electricity, low taxes and waiving of tax dues and cheap bank loans which are willfully not paid as in Mallya case, the farmer’s continue to suffer heavy taxes and costly inputs. While seeds, fertilisers and insecticides are sold very costly, diesel is sold at Rs 48 per litre although the government buys crude oil at Rs 13 per litre. The provisions for canal irrigation, development of ponds, cheap electricity, which can be given free from solar panels, assured supply of inputs and profitable sale of crop is almost absent.
The recent Union Budget has made provision for roads and costly electricity, which farmers will not be able to afford. Costly equipment for drip and other irrigation will be purchased without change in thrust to restore and maintain water bodies. There is no outlay for providing economic relief to farmers. The increased allocation for Kisan Credit Cards will further indebt farmers and insurance schemes will seek premiums. Increased Mnrega fund of Rs. 38,000 crores is less than what was allocated five years back and the increase will be used to pay only previous year’s backlog. Cent percent FDI in food processing will further increase stranglehold of foreign capital over the agrarian sector and will further ruin the small scale and household sector and small trader, said the press release.
AIKMS has issued an all India call for struggles to provide immediate relief to the farm sector to ensure survival of peasantry which has suffered more than 3.5 lac suicides during NEP period. It said that India should rejuvenate its own markets by increasing purchasing power of its people to develop rather than hand over resources, land, minerals, forests and rivers to foreign companies and seek foreign markets, it was reiterated in the release.
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