Editorial. 17 June 2019
Modi 2.0 has started. It means an opportunity again for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and farmers’ trust in him that he can ensure farmers a minimum income for living and not leave them in lurch to die.
There is an urgent need of Farmers Commission in India to look into farmers issues, to secure empowerment of farmers and ensure a guaranteed minimum monthly income for farmers. If this minimum monthly income is not set and ensured, the government’s aim of doubling farmers income will have no meaning.
As per the Economic Survey 2016, the average income of a farmer family in 17 states of India, which is more than half the country, is a paltry Rs 20,000 a year which works out to be Rs 1,700 per month. So, adding Rs 500 per month makes it just Rs 2200 per month. Isn’t this an alarming figure? This in fact is underlining the urgent need of farmers’ commission.
Farmers’ Commission means a modern and futuristic institution which can provide the necessary solution. A traditional outlook has not been able to solve the farm crisis so far. PM – Kisan is just an acknowledgement of the agrarian distress prevailing in the country. Though a delayed acknowledgement but the announcement of meagre relief of Rs 6000 a year was considered big enough by farmers in this hour of crisis. Such is the situation in agriculture that a relief of Rs 500 per month is seen as a big one which is actually a miniscule.
Having a Farmers Commission would mean what a Pay Commission means for government employees, ensuring incomes. Farmers Commission must be set up to ensure a minimum monthly income of Rs 20,000 – Rs 25000 per farmer family against the income of Rs 20000 in a year. The government’s aim of doubling the farmers income by 2022 will have a meaning only if the income of each farmer family reaches this minimum level of at least Rs 20000 per month.