Agri Business

Punjab farmers protest against new agri ordinances

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 27, 2020

Thousands of farmers belonging to more than a dozen farmer organisations on Monday organised a massive tractor march in 21 districts of Punjab and gheraoed the houses and offices of MLAs and MPs belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine, including that of Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, demanding the withdrawal of recently promulgated ordinances relating to agri-reforms.

The farmers said these ordinances, promulgated under the garb of agri-reforms, were actually anti-farmer legislations and pro-corporate. They also demanded that the government reduce diesel prices, which have sky-rocketed in recent times, and stop attacks on the civil liberties of activists, intellectuals, poets, writers and cultural activists, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), an umbrella organisation of over 200 farmer groups, said in a statement.

Ridiculing Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s remark about ensuring minimum support price for farmers, the farmer leaders said the statement has no value unless there is a procurement system in place. “Actually, all these ordinances are paving the way for handing over crop marketing to corporate houses and the government has contemplated abolishing the minimum support price,” they said.

The farmer leaders warned that the coming years will be disastrous for the peasantry as big private players will rig the market and buy farm produce cheaply. So far, agriculture and electricity were part of the Concurrent List, but the Centre has enacted laws on these subjects. With these ordinances, Punjab farmers who have land holdings of less than 5 acres will be pushed out of agriculture and big corporate houses with huge land holdings of thousands of acres will dominate agriculturec, they alleged.

Published on July 27, 2020

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