02 Feb 2019
For the last 70 years, farmers have been constantly insulted in India and repeatedly failed by the governments and economists. Now yet again in the 71st year too, in the interim budget 2019, by the announcement of Rs 6000 per year (or say Rs 500 per month) for farmers, the government of the day continues to do same. And what for landless farmers? No such announcement.
Modi government will give this amount of Rs 6000 per year to farmers owning less than 5 acres of land, in three instalments of Rs 2000 each via direct cash transfer to farmers. So, the farmers are likely to receive the first instalments of Rs 2000 by the time they are ready to vote in Lok Sabha elections of 2019. Isn’t it a “cash for vote” scheme?
When farmers over the past 4-5 years have been demanding an assured minimum monthly income, setting up a Farmers Income Commission, guaranteed MSP (according to C2 Formula) for their produce and freedom from debts, doling out a paltry Rs 500 per month for them is hurting and mocking at the dignity of being a farmer.
While announcing this, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal acknowledged that farmers’ income had reduced over the years as farmers never got full cost of their produce earlier. This is an admittance by the government that it’s criterion of calculating MSP is wrong as it has failed to give the rightful cost of the produce. In addition to this, it is also an admittance of all the work, policies and schemes that the Modi government has been claiming for doubling the income of farmers have failed to impress the farmers. Recent election results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and earlier in Karnataka and Gujarat are a testimonial of this.
Moreover, what would this skimpy sum of Rs 500 per month mean? As the current average monthly income of farmers is not more than Rs 4000 and out of this they also have to spend for seeds, fertilizer, irrigation, etc., so adding Rs 500 to it will only make it not more than Rs 4500 per month.
Such schemes have already been running in Telangana (Raythu Bandhu) and Odisha (Kalia). Though not adequate but farmers get Rs 8000 per acre per annum and Rs 10000 per farmer family per year respectively. In Odisha, even the share croppers and landless farmers are covered under the scheme.
But with this Rs 500 a month or Rs 6000 a year, what is being touted as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman is actually a Kisan Apmaan.
Let’s wish this is a typo from the Modi government. Let’s wish it is Rs 6000 per month. Honourable PM, correct it please!