J&K Kissan Tehreek Holds Protests Against Farmer Bills

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SRINAGAR: As part of nation-wide protests against ‘anti-farmer bills and electricity act amendments,’ J&K Kissan Tehreek held protest rallies across Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.

While maintaining social distancing norms, members of J&K Kisan Tehreek, held demonstrations in Press Colony Srinagar to protest against the anti-farmer approach of the BJP government. They said the bills were aimed to help the corporate agri-businesses at the cost of poor farmer’s hard work.

While addressing the protest demonstration, General Secretary Kisan Tehreek Ghulam Nabi Malik said that these anti-farmer bills are meant to restructure our country’s agricultural economy in favour of big landlord corporate-traders nexus. The BJP Government now claims that the farm produce will be purchased at Minimum Support Price (MSP) while nowhere in the three legislations there is mention of the assured purchase at MSP calculated as per C2+50%, i.e., at least 50 percent above the cost of production.

The three legislations are intended to finish off the APMC Mandis (Market Yards), Government’s role in procurement at MSP, allow corporates the freedom for hoarding and black-marketing and promote contract farming by corporate agribusinesses.

These bills have has pushed the farmers into a critical situation. If the ordinance had been in favour of the farmers the government would have discussed and revealed the contents of the bill to the nation. These Acts will mean complete withdrawal of the Government from procurement and put farmers at the mercy of corporate companies. It is aimed to facilitate profiteering by big players like Adani Wilmar, Reliance, Walmart, Birla, ITC etc.

The Modi government is pushing through various neoliberal measures under the guise of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign’. All the measures announced under its auspices for agriculture and rural infrastructure has actually given nothing much to the farmers.  The Covid-19 pandemic has become a golden opportunity for the Modi government to push through anti-farmer and anti-worker legislation without any proper parliamentary scrutiny or discussion.

While condemning the BJP Government for its utter disregard for established Parliamentary procedures, federal principles, rights of States and farmers in the manner in which three anti-farmer Ordinances were pushed through without wide consultation, the protesters warned that their agitations will intensify unless the bills are repealed.

Malik expressed hope that the government will re-start the Market intervention Scheme at the earliest so that the fruit growers, who have suffered huge losses due to weather vagaries and other reasons since last year, can have a sigh of relief. Crop insurance should be made compulsory for this sector with a low premium. Substandard chemicals including pesticides and fungicides should be banned and all necessary measures should be taken in this regard. The fruit-laden trucks are allowed to ply hassle-free towards Jammu so that these trucks reach their destinations well in time.

Mohamad Yousuf Dar, Zahoor Ahmad Rather, Mohamad Afzal Parry, Gh Mohamad Rather and Ghulam Ahmad Ganie Kisan leaders also addressed the protest demonstration.

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