Yet another great betrayal of peasantry, says All India Kisan Sabha on Centre’s agriculture package

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Left-affiliated farmers’ body AIKS (All India Kisan Sabha) termed the measures announced by Union Finance Minister for agriculture, yet “another great betrayal of peasantry”.

“The package is silent on immediate provision of ₹7,500 for farmers, comprehensive loan waiver, assured procurement at MSP at C2+50 per cent for all crops and 200 days of work under MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) with ₹300/daily wage and free ration and essentials till the lockdown is over,” Hannan Mollah and Ashok Dhawale, leaders of AIKS, said in an official statement.

According to the left-wing outfit, due to amendment in ECA (Essential Commodities Act), prices of produce, including cereals, onions, potatoes, oilseeds, edible oils and cereals will be deregulated making essential food inaccessible to the majority and it will not be beneficial for farmers.

Agriculture production will be severely affected due to such steps, as per the leaders of the outfit.

It is to be noted here that as part of the third tranche of the special package, the central government announced to amend ECA. To recap, this act is used to put a cap on prices and specify stock limit for essential items.

“At a time of crisis when the peasantry is badly in need of compensation at the real cost for the losses suffered due to lockdown when they lost their crops as they were unable to harvest and unable to reach markets in the towns, the package is silent on this except claiming that it has spent on procurement. The fact that market arrivals of wheat and other rabi crops are very low is being concealed,” said Kisan Sabha leaders.

“The Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) will be sidelined and the powers of the state governments will be eroded,” they added.

It is worth mentioning here that PM Modi on May 12 announced a Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to revive the Coronavirus-battered economy. Recording the biggest single-day jump of 4,987 new patients, India’s tally has crossed the 90,000-mark.