June 23, 2024

PRE-BUDGET CONSULTATIONS: SKM Demands Govt to Hold Talks with Real Representatives of Farmers

THE Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), in a statement issued on June 19, has called on the government to engage with the real representatives of farmers in the upcoming pre-budget consultations. This follows the announcement that the finance minister will hold in-person consultations with various stakeholders, including farmer associations and agricultural economists, on June 21, 2024, to gather ideas for the union budget 2024-25.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha has been submitting Memoranda agrarian crisis.

 SKM has been submitting memoranda on agrarian issues with proposals for resolving the acute agrarian crisis, but neither the SKM leadership nor representatives from the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) have been invited to the consultation meeting. The AIKS, recognised as the largest organisation representing the peasantry, has always been called to place its proposals before the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) for determining Minimum Support Prices for Rabi and Kharif seasons.

The exclusion of SKM and AIKS representatives from these consultations has drawn sharp criticism. "It is clear from this approach that the government is continuing to deliberately keep out the real representatives of farmers and indulging in a farcical exercise," the SKM stated.

The AIKS condemned this decision and demanded that the government engage directly with the SKM leadership. They emphasized the need for the government to shed its arrogance and take lessons from the recent electoral setbacks in 159 constituencies. Failure to involve genuine farmer representatives, the AIKS warned, could lead to mass mobilisation of farmers nationwide.

The SKM insists that genuine dialogue is essential for addressing the acute agrarian crisis and ensuring that the upcoming budget reflects the needs and challenges of the farming community. The organisation is prepared to intensify its agitation if the government does not respond to the demands of farmers.