January 25, 2015

AIKS Opposes Moves to Reduce Food Grain Buffer Stocks

The following is the press statement issued by the AIKS on January 15.

THE All India Kisan Sabha condemns the BJP-led NDA government’s proposal to drastically reduce the food grain buffer stocks to be maintained with the Food Corporation of India. The buffer stocks were to be raised by 60 per cent to meet the requirements of the Food Security Act. However, the BJP-led NDA government is reportedly proposing to raise it only by 50 per cent. We demand that the government desist from this retrograde move as it will have adverse consequences on the food security of the nation. This move is in continuation with the BJP-led NDA government’s earlier order that declared that there would be no procurement from states that pay bonus or give production incentives over and above the minimum support prices (MSP) announced by the central government especially for Wheat, Rice and other food grains.


Contrary to the government claims of having taken a bold position at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to protect food security and farmers’ interests, the government is actually implementing exactly what is being demanded by the USA, EU and developed capitalist countries. It has already taken steps to drastically reduce farm subsidies, has decided not to procure from states paying bonus above MSP to farmers,  refused to provide storage in FCI godowns for such states and has now decided to drastically cut down the buffer stocks. Earlier the minimum buffer stock was to be 32 million tonnes and the maximum of 52 million tonnes under the Food Security Act brought by the last government. This itself was only barely enough to address the reduced entitlements under the Act and would not be sufficient in the case of any exigencies like natural calamities like droughts and floods or even famines. A government must keep all possibilities of such exigencies in mind while taking decision on such an important matter. However, reports suggest that the present government has decided to further reduce this minimum limit to 21 million tonnes and the maximum limit to 41 million tonnes respectively.


This move is directly aimed to benefit the big traders and private players as reduced public procurement will leave the farmers at their mercy and they will profiteer at the expense of farmers who will be forced to make distress sales. This move is also the Modi government’s gift to please the Obama administration ahead of the visit of the president of USA to India. The AIKS calls upon all democratic sections to oppose this move and protest against this government’s anti-people move.