Budget should be pro- farmers, else will agitate

Mumbai: Appealing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government to consult with farmers before finalising the budget, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), an umbrella organisation of 265 farmer organisations across the country, has warned the Centre that agitations will be held if the budget is found to be anti-farmers. AIKSCC has also opposed signing any agreement with Brazil regarding agriculture.

"The finance minister is consulting various sectors before finalising the budget. Despite our appeal, the union government is not ready to consult farmers' representatives. If we find the budget to be anti-farmer, then we will have a nationwide protest," warned Raju Shetty, leader of AIKSCC. The 265 member organisations met here at Yeshwantrao Chavan Centre for two days.

The meeting was attended by the co-ordinator of this alliance VM Singh from Uttar Pradesh, social activists Medha Patakar and Yogendra Yadav, former legislator and leader from Madhya Pradesh Dr. Sunilam, and former MP Hannan Mollah, amongst others.

"India has invited the Brazil Prime Minister as a chief guest for the Republic Day parade and is scheduled to sign various agreements with him. It was Brazil who opposed India in the World Trade Organisation on the issue of keeping the price of sugar fixed at Rs 31 per kg to ensure that sugar factories would give fair and remunerative prices to farmers. Brazil complained to WTO that, due to this decision, they could not export their sugar into India. Now, the Centre is planning to have some agreements with them, which will adversely affect bio-diesel and ethanol production by sugar factories. We warn the Modi government not to sign any agreement that will adversely affect our farmers," Shetty added.

Atul Anjan demanded that the coming Parliament session should exclusively discuss the agriculture economy for at least 10 days.

"Instead of forgoing industrialists' loans, the Modi government should invest in the rural sector, which will increase the purchasing power of the rural sector. This will ultimately boost the economy," Yogendra Yadav said.

Also Read: Lalu Prasad's statement recorded in fodder scam case