Waive all loans of Peasants and Agricultural Labourers
Fix MSP at 1.5 times the cost of Production
Liberalization, Privatization, Globalization have led to Costly Inputs, Falling Rates, Indebted Peasants, Hungry People
Agriculture is in deep crises. Input costs and rates of crops are against the peasants and in favour of companies. The “Green Revolution” model of agricultural development has favoured imperialist companies. PM Modi had promised to double farmers’ income in 5 years, waive their loans and make MSP 1.5 times the cost of production as per recommendations of Swaminathan Commission. Centre announces MSP of only 24 crops but this year it has announced MSP for 19 Kharif crops. Out of these the MSP of 9 crops is less than the Govt. assessed cost of production of those crops. BJP-RSS govt. is reneging on its 2014 election manifesto and promises.
Some states announced some loan waivers under pressure from peasant movements, but the central declarations were against these waivers. The Govt. says it does not have money for loan waivers and subsidies. If that is done the banks will suffer losses. But it has put Rs 10 lakh crore worth of corporate loans under NPAs which will not be recovered. To overcome this loss it has refinanced banks to the extent of Rs 2.11 lakh crores. As it does every year, in 2015-16 it has foregone corporate taxes worth 6.11 lakh crores.
Seeds, fertilizers, insecticides of MNCs are very costly. Govt. is reducing subsidies and increasing taxes on every article. Due to taxes diesel is sold in India for Rs 58/ litre, though it costs Rs. 40 in Srilanka, Rs. 46 in Nepal, Rs. 49 in Pakistan, Rs. 51 in Bangladesh. Due to price rise, indebtedness is rising.
During this period economic slowdown and unemployment have increased. The govt. is reducing facilities and subsidies meant for the people. Peasants are unable to fulfill their livelihood needs from agriculture. The agro processing industries which earlier were reserved for the small scale sector are now controlled by MNCs. MNREGA work has been decreased. In cooking gas and kerosene oil, first scheme for cash transfer was begun, now subsidies have been withdrawn. Cooking gas cylinders have become costly. This year fertilizer subsidy too has been put under cash transfers. Now fertilizer costs will go up 3 to 4 times. Subsidy will initially go into bank accounts of peasants, then it will be stopped. Govt. has also stopped cheap food grains in PDS and is transferring the subsidy amount into accounts. Once PDS is wound up, procurement from peasants also will stop and crops will fetch only a low price. Shanta Kumar Committee had recommended precisely this in 2015. WTO, which functions at the behest of MNCs too has directed India to do so by 2018.
Several govts., including UP are promoting Corporate Farming. Due to Demonetization, GST and cashless transfers by the Govt., peasants failed to get even market rates for their crops. This has ruined small shopkeepers and producers also. This is providing big benefits to big traders and MNC and domestic corporations. They are buying farm produce at cheap rates and selling dear.
Govt. is also snatching natural resources under control of people and handing them over to MNCs. It is acquiring agricultural land for smart cities and industry, making big dams in the name of irrigation and transferring water to industries. Narmada’s water is going to Sanand, Polavarum’s to Coastal Corridor, Kanhar’s to Sonebadra and Jamuna’s to Coal Thermal Power Projects. Workers, fishermen and peasants dependent on rivers are being uprooted.
Modi claims the Congress had ruined the peasantry over 60 years and allowed them to die. He is right but in 3 years of his govt. too peasants are dying. In this period bank dues on them have increased 55 % from 8.11 to 12.6 lakh crores. Since 1995 more than 4 lakh peasants and equal number of agricultural labourers have committed suicide. When peasants came out on the streets, MP govt. fired on and killed them.
When peasants fought, some loan waivers were announced, which were to be implemented with several conditions. UP govt. waived ridiculously small amounts of Rs 1 and 2. Laws were made in Kerala, Telangana and Punjab to waive private loans of landless and in Telangana the Govt. was forced to grant Rs. 4000 per acre for input cost subsidy twice a year for each crop.
Friends, be it the BJP or the Congress or any other ruling class party, the SP, BSP, JD(U), Trinamool, BJD, TDP, TRS or the Akalis, their Govts. implement anti peasant, pro corporate policies. BJP – RSS divides people on religious lines and unleashes atrocities on Dalits. Only peoples’ unity can fight these forces.
We appeal to all democratic forces in Delhi, intellectuals, students, workers’ organizations. rights activists and women’s organizations to support this united fight of India’s peasantry under the banner of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) against ruining of India’s agriculture.
Join March from Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street at 10 AM on November 20.
Join Dharna of Peasants at Parliament Street on November 20 & 21.
Central Executive Committee,
All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha