Farmer unions have threatened to observe a week-long nationwide protest from February 7 onwards to highlight the non-feasibility of the Market Support Price (MSP) announced in the budget
by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Farmer unions say that the announcements made in the budget have been targeted at the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and have nothing to do with the farmer welfare.
They add that the method to calculate the cost the input cost of agriculture is not accurate as the family members of the farmer are considered as unskilled labourers, which is also unjustified as farming in India is a family busines.
Farmer unions allege that the government has not taken into account the land rent as a sizeable chunk of the farmers take the fields on lease and pay money to the landlords. Farmer unions have demanded that all family members engaged in farming be considered as skilled labourers.
The government offers subsidy to farmers but the amount of subsidy is subtracted while calculating the cost of agriculture. Farmer unions have demanded that subtraction of subsidies should not be made while calculating the cost of farming.
According to the secretary of the Bhartiya Kisan Union, Dr Darshan Pal, the method to calculate the cost of agriculture is inaccurate and by considering the flawed method, the farmers will never be able to get 1.5 times of their farming cost under the MSP.
“The government though talks about MSP but has not guaranteed the farmers that their farm produce will be purchased. We demand that the government strictly act against the commission agents who do not buy the crops which result in glut,” Sunilam said.
“Farmer incomes have been on a downward trend. Will the government do a miracle in its last year?” he added.
The claims made by the Union Government that farmer incomes will double by 2022 appears to be a pipe dream as the income of the average Indian farmer during the past four years has registered a downward trend. According to an estimate, nearly 16,000 farmers have committed suicides.
“We term the current budget a cruel joke with the farmers. The Finance Minister has, in fact, compressed MSP rather making it a reality. The farmers have been fooled once again,” President of Kisan Mukti Samthaan VM Singh said on Sunday.
The government by promising MSP to the farmers seems to have stirred up a hornet’s nest as nearly 199 former unions have announced a nationwide protest February 7 onwards.
The blueprint of the week-long farmer protest will be prepared on February 6 in a meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee of farmer unions in New Delhi.
Punjab farmer unions have already announced that they will organise a two-hour long protest on February 7 during which trains and buses will be stopped for two hours to impress upon their demands. The farmers want that the announcements made in the Budget become a reality and do not remain confined to papers.
via MSP game backfires as farmer unions announce nationwide week-long protest