PEASANT organisations from Punjab and Haryana held a ‘Kisan Mukti Sammelan’ at Bhakna Bhawan, in Chandigarh on February 4, 2018 under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) to discuss farm suicides and find out ways to help the peasants in distress.
Convenor of the AIKSCC, VM Singh demanded that the government should fulfill its promise of implementing the Swaminathan Commission’s report which was submitted to the government in 2006 and was to be implemented in 2007.
Hannan Mollah, general secretary of All India Kisan Sabha said that the government has waived off loans of the corporates running into several lakh crores which affected only a few hundred rich people but it was not willing to waive small loans of the peasants. He disclosed that the ‘Farmers Freedom from Debt Bill 2017’ and ‘The Farmers Right to Assured Remunerative Price for Agriculture Produce Bill 2017’ which were passed by the Kisan Sansad in November 2017 would be debated in public and introduced in parliament as a private member’s bill.
Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj Abhiyan said that union finance minister, Arun Jaitley’s announcement to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of all crops to at least 1.5 times the production cost was nothing but a farce. He further said that the BJP government was trying to cheat farmers by shifting the goal posts. “The Swaminathan Commission Report recommended that the MSP should be calculated as 1.5 times of the comprehensive cost (C2), but the BJP government has devised a formula of 1.5 times of the A2 (actual paid out costs) plus unpaid FL (family labour ). C2 costs are more comprehensive than A2 plus FL”, Yadav said.
Earlier the AIKSCC leadership interacted with the intellectuals on the two bills eliciting their views to enrich the bills. They told that they are visiting all state capitals in the country to interact with the people to take their views on agriculture crisis and peasant distress. The AIKSCC leadership addressed a press conference at Chandigarh Press Club explaining the two bills and further programmes of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.
Dr Darshan Pal of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Dakaunda), S Datyan, president, All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sanghatan, Dr Sunilam of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and Ruldu Singh, president, All India Kisan Mahasabha also addressed. The state leaders of various kisan organisations also addressed the sammelan.