When Farmers needed income, Modi Govt hands them 16 points

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When Farmers needed income, Modi Govt hands them 16 points

Jai Kisan Andolan Leader Yogendra Yadav says Union Budget is nothing short of declaring war on Indian agriculture and farmers

Nirmesh Singh 
New Delhi. 01 Feb 2020

A small farmer who cultivates his land himself in Kasganj district and also works as a Manager in a private firm in Noida said, when farmers needed income, Modi government has given them 16 points.

For Sudhir Kumar, Budget 2020-21 is no different for agriculture from last year, neither in the commitment of doubling the farmers’ income yet again “without setting what the minimum income of a farmer would be in 2022”, nor in the outlay for agriculture which is Rs 2.83 lakh crore almost the same as last year.  

The Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has hailed the budget announcements for agriculture although it has been termed as anti-farmer by prominent farmer organizations and political parties.  

Noted Agri policy expert Devinder Sharma said, “Budget was expected to provide more money into the hands of farmers which would create more rural demand. More rural demand would lead to more consumption, driving the GDP up. That was the surest way to emerge out of slowdown”

The budget and the 16 action points plan for farmers announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were described by Founder of Jai Kisan Andolan and President of Swaraj India, Yogendra Yadav as nothing short of declaring war on Indian agriculture and farmers.

He accused the finance minister of concealing the actual figures of actual allocation in her budget speech.

“The actual figures available from the budget documents indicate that the Government has launched a multi-pronged attack on Indian farmers and agriculture sector”, he said.

“The drastic reduction in funds for Food Corporation of India (FCI) meant for procurement and PDS operations will not only hurt operations but will also leave farmers at the mercy of private traders”, Yogendra Yadav added.

“The fertilizer subsidy has also been reduced from Rs 79, 996 crores to Rs 70,139 crores at a time when the prices of fertilizers are increasing in domestic and international markets”, he said.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Leader Rakesh Tikait also described the budget as a disappointing one for farmers and said the 16 points announced by the Modi Government does not cover even 10 percent farmers of India.

“The main issues of farmers like profitable prices for produce, guaranteed purchase of their harvest, loan waiving, changes in crop insurance schemes, road map for doubling farmers’ income and increasing the budget of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi have not been touched by Finance Minister”, Rakesh Tikait added.

The Bhanu faction of Bhartiya Kisan Union also echoed the same voice.

BC Pradhan, General Secretary, BKU (Bhanu) said, the government has again chosen to be silent on prominent farmers’ demands of constituting a National Farmers Commission, ensuring a minimum monthly income for farmers so that a doubling of farmers income can have some meaning and introducing an agriculture budget separate from general budget.

All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a nationwide platform of more than 200 farmer organisations across the country, said the budget 2020 offers no boost to the rural sector and is a pro-corporate budget.

AIKSCC said, “Though the budget proposed to encourage State governments that implement three model laws — Model Agri Land Leasing Act, 2016; APMC, 2017 and Contract Farming, 2018 — to ease the marketing of agricultural produce but no actual allocation has been made for these grand schemes”.

Finance Minister also announced that the Govt had increased farm credit to Rs 15 lakh crores to which AIKSCC said, as the structural changes have not been done to ensure the credit to small and marginal farmers, tenant farmers and Adivasi farmers, therefore much of this credit will go to big agri-businesses, promote sale of costly inputs and machinery of the Companies.

“There is no support to peasants or measure to prevent their land from being mortgaged. This is when only recently the govt had waived off more than 2 lakh crores of bad debts of corporations and had given them additional tax concessions of Rs. 1.45 lakh crores”, AIKSCC added.

AIKSCC said it will hold a nation-wide protest on February 13 against the pro-corporate proposals and failure to address the problems of the farming community