Waive Off Farm Loans On The Lines of Corporate Loan Waiver To Help "Food Warriors": Demands AIKSCC
Syed Ali Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, MAY 11—All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), an all India body of agriculturists and farm labourers, has demanded complete waiver of all loans of peasants and agriculture workers all over the country.
At its Working Group meeting held through video-conferencing a few days back, the farm body said that if the Central government could waive off Rs. 68,607 crores of its ‘crony capitalists’ and fugitives like Vijay Mallya, Mehul Chowksi and Nirav Modi, there should not be any problem to forgo the loans of farmers and agriculture workers.
AIKSCC general secretary S. A. Avik told India Tomorrow that the Working Group also appealed its members all over the country to felicitate farmers as “Food Warriors” of the nation on May 16 and also organise a protest on May 27 to focus attention of the Central government towards problems of the farmers.
“If industries require government support to revive their functioning after suffering losses due to lockdown, farmers have also suffered equally and their contribution to the nation as food producers is not less than any category of people. Hence, waiving off their loans is completely justified”, said Avik.
He said that the governments at the Centre and in states have failed to appreciate that farmers are “the patriotic food warriors” who have worked hard despite obstructions and difficulties during the Corona crisis to provide food security to the people.
He said that the Working Group demanded reduction in cost of diesel to Rs 22 per litre in line with reduction in prices of air turbine fuel to Rs 22.54 per litre due to steep fall in crude prices.
“AIKSCC expressed its deep concern at the failure of the Central Government and State Governments to ease the problems being faced by farmers, agricultural labour and migrant labour due to the unplanned and thoughtless lockdown of the nation by the Union Government”, said Avik.
He said that AIKSCC also paid homage to the memory of 16 workers who were run over by a train at Aurangabad due to “apathy and neglect of the Government”, and the hundreds of migrant labourers who have lost their lives in trying to reach home by walking back as well as those who died in the terrible gas leak tragedy of LG Synthetics at Vishakhapatnam.
The Working Group, he said, has also asked the Central government to increase procurement and supply of food to feed all people, enhance MNREGA work to give work to all in villages and ensure that all migrant labourers are able to return home free of cost and are provided with food and work with proper wages.
“In light of the fact that now more than 20 crore migrant workers have to be provided work in the villages, the Working Group has called upon all its members and other farmer and agricultural workers’ organisations to conduct a massive campaign and organise protests on May 27 on all the issues of the farmers whose problems have been and are being ignored by the Central and state governments”, said Avik.
“These include issues of full compensation for crop damage, unsold crop, monthly lockdown compensation package of Rs 10,000 per family, increase the minimum income support from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 18,000 per annum under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PMKISAN) schemes, provide free seeds and fertilizers, guaranteed procurement of farm produce like vegetables, fruits, milk, eggs and honey at minimum support price (MSP) to be determined by including cost of production plus 50 per profit over it, fair and equal compensation to all share croppers and improving health care facilities, etc”, said the farm leader.