Agri Business

Centre compromises on food security, says Left wing outfit Kisan Sabha

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 15, 2020 Published on May 15, 2020

Left wing farmers' outfit All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) said the package on agriculture announced by the Finance Minister is “another great betrayal of peasantry”. Leaders of AIKS Hannan Mollah and Ashok Dhawale said in a statement that the package is silent on immediate provision of ₹7,500 for farmers and agriculture workers, comprehensive loan waiver, assured procurement at MSP at C2+50 per cent for all crops and 200 days of work under MGNREGS with ₹300/daily wage and free ration and essentials till the lockdown is over.

They complained that nothing has been done to compensate the losses in income of peasantry and agricultural workers due to crop losses and loss of employment. By amending Essential Commodities Act, prices of onion, potato, oilseeds, edible oils and cereals will be deregulated making essential food inaccessible to majority and it will not benefit farmers.

“The food security of the country will also be compromised. The BJP Government has announced barrier free inter-state trade for agricultural commodities, to deregulate agri-business and announced ₹one lakh crore as agricultural infrastructure fund. Clearly, the move is to promote free trade under the slogan of one nation one market. Who will be benefited out of these reforms is pretty clear, not the peasantry and rural workers. The agribusiness corporate houses and multinational corporations will take the advantage. The Agriculture Produce Market Committees will be sidelined and the powers of the state governments will be eroded. The peasantry at large will be at the mercy of the Agri Business Corporations since there will not be any arrangements for price support and price stabilization for crops,” the Kisan Sabha said.

They said agriculture production will be severely affected due to such steps. “At a time of crisis when the peasantry is badly in need of compensation at the real cost for the losses suffered due to lock down, when they lost their crops as they were unable to harvest and unable to reach markets in the towns, the package is silent on this except claiming that it has spent on procurement. The fact that market arrivals of wheat and other rabi crops are very low is being concealed," they added.

Published on May 15, 2020

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