Farmers body demands budget proposal for reducing input cost by 50%

d Talcher unit of Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCIL) has been working towards restarting this urea unit, Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply on Friday. 

All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) has demanded that Budget proposals should ensure that all input prices of agriculture, diesel, seeds, fertilisers, insecticides and electricity should be halved as their steep rise has caused severe agricultural distress. While input costs have risen by 33 to 100 percent in past five years, cost of living has more than doubled. Input subsidies should be cut and GST on agricultural inputs and implements should be withdrawn.

Input support through PM-KISAN (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi) at Rs 6000 per year is too is meagre. It should be raised to Rs 6000 per acre per crop. In the current scheme rolled out in 2018, only 3.85 crore farmers, ie 26.6 percent out of 14.5 crore have received all three installments of Rs 2000, 44 percent have received two installments and 52 percent only one installment, leaving out 48 percent, AIKMS has urged.

Budgetary support is required to pay a profitable minimum support price (MSP) of 1.5 times the C2 cost of production for all crops and assured government procurement of all crops. In the last one year distress sale of vegetables, pulses, oilseeds, wheat, rice, millets, milk, sugarcane, cotton caused huge losses and debs to peasants, the farmers body has demanded.

AIKMS has called for announcing support to share croppers, register and include them for subsidised inputs, government loans, procurement at MSP, crop loss compensation, insurance cover, PM-KISAN among other supportive measures, AKIMS has

The farmers body has insisted that budget should allocate adequate funds for debt waiver. The Centre has waived more than two lakh crore of bad debts of corporate and given them an additional tax concession of Rs 1.45 lakh crore. It should announce freedom from debt for all peasants including agricultural workers and their private loans.

The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) should be completely withdrawn from private insurance companies as they are only making huge profits and do not pay proper compensation. This should be allotted to government insurance companies. Premium should be paid by the government and loss should be assessed on each plot of land, not over entire block or subdivision, AIKMS has pointed out.

The Central government had announced formation of 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) to help in aggregation of crops and marketing for better profits. There is also a move to aggregate land for cropping and do corporate farming. There should be a ban on big corporate houses. Crop aggregation and marketing should be done through the government allocation of funds for building storage houses, cold storages, procurement, food processing facility which can be rented by the peasants. These should incentivise small peasants. Big companies will only buy at low costs and ruin the small producers. The changes proposed in Essential Commodities Act and land leasing rules is to help hoarders, black marketeers and MNCs, the farmers body has urged the government.

The Government has failed to discuss the budgetary requirements for agriculture and rural development with major farmers’ body, including All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) despite several representations made on several demands, the farmers body has alleged.

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