Jammu, May 22: All India Congress Committee (AICC) Spokesperson and Senior Congress leader Mr. P.L.Punia has said that a grave ‘agrarian crisis’ of unprecedented scale plagues the ‘Farm Sector’ today, putting a question mark on India’s food security because of the anti-farmer policies of the Modi led government at the centre.
This was disclosed by Shri Punia while addressing a press conference at party headquarters here today. PCC Senior Vice President Mr. Sham Lal Sharma, Chief Spokesman Mr. Ravinder Sharma, General Secretaries PCC Thakur Balwan Singh, Ch. Shah Mohammad, Vikram Malhotra, Namrata Sharma; Co-Treasurer Mr. Rajnish Sharma and District President Jammu (U) Mr. Anil Chopra were also present in the Press Conference.
Mr. Punia who is also Chairman of the National Commission for Schedule Caste (SC), accused the Modi Government of being insensitive towards the welfare of scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) in the country. He said that the only ordinance issued by the previous Congress Government which was allowed to be lapsed and not re-promulgated by the present BJP government, The Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Ordinance, 2014’, which envisaged speedy and
expeditious disposal of SC/ST cases by an exclusive Special Court at District level, appointment of an exclusive Public Prosecutor and punishment for new offences like
garlanding with footwear, compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses,
attempting to promote feeling of ill will against SCs/STs, imposing or threatening a social or economic boycott etc.
He said that the funds for Scheduled Castes Sub Plan have been reduced by Rs.13,208 crore and for Tribal Sub Plan have been reduced by Rs.7,714 crore.
A year of Modi Government has unequivocally established one slogan across 125 crore Indians – ‘KISAN VIRODHI – NARENDRA MODI’. While Prime Minister is busy ‘beating drums’ and ‘playing violin’ from Japan to Mongolia, a grave ‘agrarian crisis’ of unprecedented scale plagues the ‘Farm Sector’ today, putting a question mark on India’s food security. This epidemic catastrophe arises out of intentional indifference and cruel mal-governance of BJP-led NDA Government, which is deaf to the agony, anguish and request for help from the Indian farmer. ‘ANNA DAATA’ (food provider) of the Nation is facing an existential crisis of survival. In fact, Modi Government follows a ‘NAMO’ POLICY i.e. ‘NO AGRICULTURE – MAL-GOVERNANCE ONLY’.
Prices of all agricultural crops are witnessing a free fall. Government is unwilling to fix a fair ‘Minimum Support Price’ (MSP) for crops. Non-availability and rampant black-marketing of Urea/DAP fertilizers/seeds are the accepted norm. Burden of unseasonal rains/hailstorms leading to destruction of over 200 lakh hectares (494 lakh acres) of Rabi crops is driving the farmer to suicide and bankruptcy. Extension of agricultural credit to farmers stands slashed by banks/financial institutions. Agricultural exports have dipped substantially and suddenly. Area under agricultural production has fallen. All this symbolizes the mal-governance of agriculture in one year by Modi Government.
Arrogance of power and inhumane remarks of BJP’s senior leaders add insult to injury qua miseries of farming community. Former BJP President and senior Cabinet Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari tells the farmers to not depend upon ‘God or Government’. BJP’s ex-National Kisan Morcha President and Haryana Agriculture Minister, O.P. Dhankar shamelessly calls debt-ridden farmers driven to suicides as ‘cowards’. Prominent BJP MP Sanjay Dhotre from Akola says “Let these farmers fend for themselves. If crop fails, they will figure out what to do. And if they die, let them die”. Sadly, ‘Suit Boot Ki Sarkar’ has failed even in performing its primary duty as Government.
To top it all, catering to the needs of a few crony capitalist friends, Shri Narendra Modi is hell bent upon grabbing the Farmer’s most prized and primary possession – his land. Modi’s ‘Land Acquisition Ordinance, 2015’, that seeks to kill the ‘heart and soul’ of Right to Fair Compensation Act, 2013, is actually a ‘Life Acquisition Ordinance’ for farmers. Growing rural distress and apathy of Government can be enumerated:-
1. COST + 50% PROFIT – A TALE OF BROKEN PROMISES
In the run-up to 2014 Parliamentary elections, most important big ticket promise (other than bringing back black-money) made by Shri Narendra Modi was to ensure “remunerative prices for farmers by adding 50% profit into the peasant’s input cost”. (Rally at Pathankot, Punjab on April 24, 2014). He repeated it across the country to woo the farmers and made a written promise in BJP’s 2014 Election Manifesto (Page-44).
Once in power, this solemn promise of Shri Modi to over 60% of India’s population, was buried at the bottom of ‘false promises dustbin’. Shockingly, Modi Government filed an affidavit dated 6th February, 2015 in Supreme Court describing ‘cost + 50%’ formula as a distortion. Having been cheated and short charged, India’s farmer stands at cross roads today.
2. FAIR MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICE (MSP) – AN ELUSIVE MIRAGE
Modi Government’s procurement agencies like FCI, CCI etc. are refusing to purchase farmer’s crop even at MSP beyond the PDS quota fixed for each State. To top it, Shri Narendra Modi has banned the BJP ruled States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to give the already announced bonus to paddy and wheat farmers.
To add insult to injury, Modi Government has increased MSP of various crops for 2014-15 in negligible spurts of Rs.50/- per quintal per crop unlike the unprecedented protective umbrella and fair market prices given by Congress Party between 2004-05 and 2013-14.
(2004-05 to 2013-14)
560 to 1310
590 to 1345
1310 to 1360
1345 to 1400
(b) Cotton American
1960 to 4000
4000 to 4050
(proposed for 2014-15)
900 to 2500
3. CRASH IN MARKET PRICE OF EVEN NON-MSP CROPS