New Delhi, Nov 20: More than three lakh farmers from all over India started a two-day protest in the national capital on Monday demanding “better prices for their produce and complete freedom from debt”. The two-day protest is called by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which will also organise ‘Kisan Mukti Sansad’ or farmer’s parliament at the venue of their protest. A draft ‘bill’ encompassing the two demands will be introduced and passed after a debate by the farmers’ parliament.
In protest, farmers started their march from Ram Leela ground to ‘gherao’ the Parliament. As many as 180 organisations of farmers are taking part in the major protest. “Our main demand will be full remunerative prices as a legal entitlement with correct cost estimations and at least a 50 per cent profit margin over the cost of production,” All India Kisan Sabha president Ashok Dhawale said on Sunday.
“We will also demand freedom from debt, including an immediate comprehensive loan waiver, as well as statutory institutional mechanism to address farmers’ debt on an ongoing basis,” he said. The farmers are also angry at Prime Minister Narendra Modi who promised good prices for crops during his Lok Sabha campaigns.
“Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Lok Sabha poll campaign, had promised that if elected, farmers would get good prices for their crops and he would implement the Swaminathan Commission recommendations, nothing has been done so far,” Dhawale said.
According to the AIKSCC “steady rise in input costs, like fuel, pesticides and fertilisers and even water, and slashing of subsidies by the government” are some of the key factors behind cost versus income imbalance presently being faced by the farmers.