Chandigarh, April 15. BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) staged protests at 6 places in 4 more districts during MSP Guarantee Week, and demanded a bonus of Rs 300 per quintal to compensate for the reduced wheat yield.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) protests in Sangrur, Muktsar, Fazilka and Hoshiarpur districts sent demand charters in the name of the Prime Minister through local authorities. Giving this information, the general secretary of the organization, Mr. Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan said that the keynote speakers on the occasion included State President Mr. Joginder Singh Ugrahan, District Sangrur President Mr. Amrik Singh Gandhua, Fazilka President Mr. Gurbhej Singh Rohiwala, Muktsar General Secretary Mr. Gurbhagat Singh Bhaliana and Hoshiarpur Executive President Madan Lal and other local leaders.

Spokespersons strongly condemned the Modi BJP government for backtracking on its written promise to provide a legal guarantee for the procurement of all crops on MSP. In a memorandum sent to the Prime Minister, they demanded that the Union Government should enact a law fixing the government’s responsibility for the procurement of all crops of the farmers. As per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and Ramesh Chandra Committee, the total costs should be calculated and the MSP of all crops should be fixed according to C-2+ 50% formula.

Repeal the policy of reducing subsidies to reduce the input costs and increase subsidies on all inputs including diesel for agriculture. It should eliminate the blind looting being carried out by the imperial multinationals through chemical fertilizers, insecticides, weedicides, diesel and agricultural machinery, etc. and provide these agricultural inputs at affordable rates. Reject the report of the Shanta Kumar Committee which has made recommendations like dismantling the FCI and stop indulging in government procurement. They alleged that even though the government had repealed the agriculture laws due to the pressure of the prolonged farmers’ struggle, it still had not changed the policy of handing over the entire agricultural business to the imperialist corporations. They demanded that the government should immediately repeal this policy.

By reinstating the APMC Act,1961, reject the anti-farmer amendments made in it. Remove its shortcomings and close the way for direct entry of private traders in the crop trade. Guarantee that procurement by private traders should be done only in state markets and all prescribed taxes should be levied on them with the bidding of crop prices starting above MSP. The government should stop speculation in the name of future crop trading and stop the direct entry of imperialist multinationals and local corporations into the crop trade.
Strengthen the public distribution system by including all the poor in the public distribution system. The government should also procure and stockpile all the essential commodities including food grains and provide them to the needy at affordable rates. Reject the quota-oriented policy of shrinking the public distribution system. Take steps to strengthen FCI and close down corporate silo warehouses like Adani’s. Stop following the WTO guidelines for stopping government procurement of crops and abolish the public distribution system and get out of its spider web.

The report of the Swaminathan Commission, which made several other recommendations in the interest of farmers, should be implemented. The government exchequer should be opened up to provide remunerative prices of crops to the farmers and to provide cheap foodgrains to the needy people. To make up for this, hefty taxes should be imposed on imperialist multinationals, indigenous corporates and feudal lords and these should be received.

It was demanded that the government should immediately announce a bonus of Rs. 300 per quintal to the farmers to offset the losses in output incurred due to unseasonal rains and sudden increases in temperature. For this reason, some grains remained thinner. Repeal the unreasonable condition imposed on the non-procurement of thin grains of wheat and start the government procurement as usual. They warned that if this anti-farmer condition was not removed then the government would face sharp peasant resentment. They called upon the farmers being harassed in the mandis to stage protests at various places against the government and to tighten the noose on the government in case of any bigotry.

*‘MSP Guarantee Week’ is being observed from April 11 to 17 to press its demand for a legal guarantee on a minimum support price for Indian farmers.

Contact No: 9417557433, Joginder Singh Ugrahan
9417466038, Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan