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Business News/ News / India/  Farmers' protest: SKM slams 'corporate logic' behind MSP, tells what 'legally guaranteed procurement' means
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Farmers' protest: SKM slams 'corporate logic' behind MSP, tells what 'legally guaranteed procurement' means

Farmers' protest: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) rejected as “baseless” the claim that the Union government has to find ₹11 lakh crore for providing MSP to farmers for all 23 crops.

Patiala: Farmers during their 'Delhi Chalo' protest march, at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, in Patiala district, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (PTI)Premium
Patiala: Farmers during their 'Delhi Chalo' protest march, at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, in Patiala district, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (PTI)

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) supported the decision of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha-Non Political (SKM-NP) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) to reject the Centre's proposal of a five-year contract farming for five crops. The farmers' union hit out at "experts" for "misinterpreting that legal guarantee for MSP for procurement of all crops at minimum support price could spell 'fiscal disaster'". It dismissed this argument as "the logic of corporate forces".

The union, which had spear-headed the farmers' protest in 2020-2021, said all the "pro-people experts and scientists have reasoned no MSP means human disaster". It also rejected as "baseless" the claim that the Union government has to find 11 lakh crore for providing MSP to farmers for all 23 crops.

ALSO READ: Farmers to resume ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest on February 21| 5 updates

‘Legally guaranteed procurement means…’

The SKM argued that "the legally guaranteed procurement does not mean the government has to pay and procure but to ensure the corporate forces share their profit with farmers as remunerative price, and the Union and state governments and the public sector abet the producer cooperatives and non-corporate private sector to undertake post-harvesting operations of procurement, primary and secondary processing, storage and infrastructure building and branded marketing".

"This policy shift will bring employment generation, better price and wage to workers and farmers and more tax income to the state and union governments," the SKM said.

‘Huge human disaster’

In its press release on Tuesday, the SKM highlighted the "huge human disaster due to the lingering agrarian crisis" and said the country is witnessing a "human disaster" in the "countryside today". It is "filled with intensifying poverty, indebtedness, unemployment and price rise," it added.

The SKM demanded that the focus should be on "the importance of protecting peasant agriculture for the staple food production, mainly paddy and wheat, by ensuring remunerative income and extending subsidies to reduce the cost of production".

ALSO WATCH: What Are Protesting Farmers Demanding From The Government

On the argument of benefits of crop diversification, the SKM said, "Certain sections opine the crop diversification helps to address water level depreciation, the Kisan movement is not against crop diversification per se but not by undermining staple food production, food security and thus, the sovereignty of the country.

ALSO READ: Farmers’ battle for MSP law. Is it a fair ask?

Protest against BJP MPs on Feb 21

The SKM urged all the Kisan organisations across India to support the mass protest of farmers in the constituencies of the BJP-NDA MPs on February 21, demanding implementation of the agreement signed by the Narendra Modi government with the SKM on December 9, 2021.

"It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister and the executive to implement the agreement they signed with the SKM on 9th December 2021 and do justice to the promise in the BJP manifesto of 2014 general election on implementing MSP@C2+50% for all crops with legally guaranteed procurement," the SKM said in the press release on Tuesday.

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Published: 20 Feb 2024, 06:41 PM IST
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