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Niti Aayog member sparks farm income debate

Amid ongoing standoff over the agri legal guidelines, a Niti Aayog member’s remarks that the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 is not going to be fulfilled if the three new legislations aren’t applied instantly, has sparked a recent debate.

Farmers and farm consultants termed the assertion as an excuse to guard the central authorities — which had introduced in 2017-18 its goal to double farmers’ income by 2022 — and requested how these legal guidelines can double their income when there isn’t a provision of even assured Minimum Support Price (MSP) in these legal guidelines.

The debate started when Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand, mentioned, “I will say that if these three farm laws are not adopted immediately, then I don’t see that goal (of doubling farmers’ income by 2022) getting fulfilled”.

He was replying to a query on whether or not the federal government continues to be assured of doubling farm income by 2022.

Expert on farm points and retired economics professor from Punjabi University Patiala Professor Gian Singh mentioned that even when these legal guidelines are applied right now, they’ll by no means double farmers’ income by 2022. “These laws lay more stress on privatisation and private mandis. Can the private player pay farmers so much that their income would be doubled?” he requested.

He additional mentioned that per capita income of a farmer’s household was Rs 54 per day in 2015-16 and even whether it is elevated to double, that’s Rs 108 per capita, it can not meet their primary wants together with meals, shelter, schooling, well being and so on.

“The pandemic has also proved that a human being can survive without cars, airplanes, big houses but cannot survive without food. Government must realise the contribution of farmers and should seriously do something to increase their income rather implementing these laws which have no guarantee of even getting a price equal to the current MSP,” mentioned Prof Gian Singh, including that through the pandemic, India and significantly Punjab farmers have procured report paddy and even India has exported extra rice this 12 months to different nations.

“But our government, instead of rewarding them, is punishing them by running from government purchase.To double their income we need a farmer-friendly model not the corporate-friendly model,” he added.

“In Punjab, wheat and paddy are the two main crops which are procured at MSP by the government and now the government is running from it giving several excuses in the name of direct payment, providing land record of the farmers etc. When around 68 per cent farmers have less than five acres and government is running from MSP purchase, how these laws can double the income of farmers?” requested Jagmohan Singh, normal secretary, Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda).

“We had length and breadth discussions on every clause of these laws with the government but government could not explain how the income of farmers can be enhanced by adopting these laws when government has no control on private players,” he mentioned, including that farmers’ income will be elevated provided that the MSP of each crop is given as per suggestions of the Swaminathan report.

“Our demand for legal status of MSP for every crop is only because this is the only way to double farmers’ income,” he mentioned.

Another skilled from Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) Ludhiana, mentioned that the Ramesh Chand committee 2014-15 had a number of good suggestions in response to which he had really helpful MSP of the crops, however as per these three legal guidelines the federal government isn’t speaking about MSP, however about personal mandis and gamers, which imply minimising the federal government buy which might lead to no buy at MSP.

“The Niti Aayog member is thinking from the point of view of the private players, not from the farmers’ point of view and assuming that private players are paying much more to the farmers than the government’s price. How can things be assumed when everyone is aware that a businessman (private players) is much more worried about his own profit not about the welfare of the farmers?”

“Only the state can think about the welfare of farmers but the state is running from its responsibility,” mentioned BKU (Ugrahan) General Secretary, Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan.

“If the government is saying it wants to double the income of farmers, it should take such steps, not the steps it has taken in the form of these three laws which are more suitable to private players,” he added.

“The lives of small and marginal farmers are already in a miserable state and now these laws will push them further into more poverty as they are not in a position to bargain with private players and sell their crop going one place to another,” mentioned Kokrikalan, and requested whether or not the Niti Aayog member persuade farmers in layman language how these legal guidelines would double their income.

“Can he quote even a single such model where small and marginal farmers are earning a respectable income without the support of the government,” he requested.

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