Indian farmers’ protest

In sharp contrast to other political parties of India, BJP acts as sole custodian of the financial interest of corporate sector at the cost farmers. The Union government is enacting certain laws to deregulate the agriculture sector, which farmers view detrimental to their interest. It merits mention that against these laws the Union Minister for agriculture Harsimat Kaur had resigned in protest in September. The laws will benefit the big farmers to sell food commodities to corporate buyers and exporters, whereas small farmers then will not be able get minimum support price of their produce at Mandis.

Thousands of Indian farmers are on the roads of Capital Delhi for the last few days. The central government has invited 30 union leaders of farmers for talks on the new laws that deregulate the agriculture sector. The law entirely benefits big businessmen who deal in the agriculture commodities. Then small farmers who produce staples such as wheat and rice will be eventually deprived of minimum support price.

The law also restricts holding of stock by farmers and movement of produce to destinations where small farmers can get better price. Maharashter government opposed the union government ban on stocking and export of onions whenever retail price have tended to go up. The farmers in Punjab and Haryana fear that new law will restrict their freedom to sell their produce at better price. Much of the government fixed support price is paid to farmers at the agriculture products market centers or Mandis. And if government stops buying for building stock, farmers will be then at mercy of private sector, depriving them of getting fair return ratio.

Another negative aspect of deregulating agriculture will result in withdrawal of subsidy that government pays on the purchase of seeds, fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. Eventually, the agriculture will land in crisis.

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