Are government packages for farmers and poor enough?
[the_ad_placement id=”adsense-in-feed”]-globalbihari bureau
New Delhi: Under PM-KISAN Scheme, the Union government Rs. 17,793 crores released for 8.89 crore farmer families during the ongoing lockdown period because of COVID-19 threat.
According to the Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India has been taking several measures to facilitate the farmers and farming activities at field level during the lockdown period.
It may be mentioned that the Bhartiya Kisan Union, one of the influential farmers’ bodies in India, has been demanding Rs. 1.5 lakh crore economic package for the farmers from the Indian government.[the_ad_placement id=”content-placement-after-3rd-paragraph”]
On April 17, 2020, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) had observed the International Day of Peasants’ Struggle in different parts of the country, with farmers expressing their displeasure over the “failure” of government in announcing any relief measures for farmers during COVID-19 pandemic.
Also read: “किसानों को अलग से मिले आर्थिक पैकेज”
The BKU had jotted down the following demands by the farmers:
• 1.5 lakh crore (5% of GDP) package for helping farmers during this pandemic
• Procurement points at village level and agri-goods to be at MSP rate
• Farmers producing vegetables, fruits and flowers should be assisted. These perishable produces should be procured from the village. At the same time the minimum support price for these perishable items should be announced.
• No import dependence of agri goods and incentives to be given to our farmers to grow ourselves
• Dairy farmers to be supported by procurement of milk from their village by dairy cooperative
• In few months back, farmers suffered heavy loss due to heavy hailstorm and rain. The government should exempt electricity and water charges and interest on bank loans for a year, must be exempted.
• Non-payment of foreign debts and reinvestment in public policies for Health, Education, Labor and the rural, as a priority.
“Our task as farmers is to feed the people, and we want to continue doing so. We understand that the production of healthy food cannot cease and that it is the first line of defence against COVID-19. However, this requires providing safe and dignified living conditions for peasants, during and after the crisis,” Chaudhary Rakesh Tikait, BKU’s national spokesperson, had said while demanding the government to ensure the populations’ access to healthy, culturally appropriate food and prevent shortages.
The government stated on Monday, that in order to provide food security during the prevailing situation due to COVID-19 pandemic, it would distribute pulses to the eligible households under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PM-GKY), it stated, adding that this would benefit around 19.50 crore household spread across 36 States and Union territories.
“About 107,077.85 MT pulses have so far been issued to the States/Union Territories,” a ministry handout stated.[the_ad_placement id=”sidebar-feed”]