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Business News/ News / India/  Is Bharat Bandh tomorrow due to farmers' protest in Delhi? What's open, what's not on February 16
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Is Bharat Bandh tomorrow due to farmers' protest in Delhi? What's open, what's not on February 16

Bharat Bandh tomorrow: Emergency services will not be affected during the bandh, but villages will remain closed for all agricultural activities

Bharat Bandh tomorrow to halt agricultural activities and public transport (AFP)Premium
Bharat Bandh tomorrow to halt agricultural activities and public transport (AFP)

Bharat Bandh tomorrow news: As the farmers from Punjab continue to march towards Delhi to press for their demands, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, along with several trade unions, has called for a Gramin Bharat Bandh on February 16. According to the directions released by the SKM, the bandh will be observed between 6 am and 4 pm. The farmers will participate in a chakka jam on major roads across the country from 12 pm to 4 pm.

What is open?

The Bharat Bandh on Friday will not affect emergency services like ambulance operations, medical shops, marriage, schools, etc.

"We will ensure passage to emergency services of ambulances, death, marriage, medical shops, newspaper supply, students going for board exams and passengers to the airport," the SKM National Coordination Committee (NCC) member Dr Darshan Pal said speaking to Indian Express (IE).

What is closed?

For the Gramin Bharat bandh, villages will remain closed for all agricultural activities, and for the Gramin Bharat bandh (MNREGA) and rural works, Pal told IE. "No farmer, agricultural worker, or rural worker will work that day."

He mentioned that the trading and procurement of vegetables and other crops would be halted. "Village shops, grain markets, vegetable markets, governmental and non-governmental offices, rural industrial and service sector establishments, as well as private sector enterprises, have been urged to shut down."

Shops and businesses in towns neighbouring the villages will also remain closed during the strike period.

Public transport will not ply as the roadway employees will also be taking part in the Gramin Bharat bandh.

"Public transport will remain off the roads as the roadways employees unions are also a part of this protest call," SKM NCC member Jagmohan Singh Patiala told IE.

Punjab School Education Board requested to defer the exam

Punjab state board is scheduled to hold the science examination for Class 10 on February 16, on the day of Gramin Bharat bandh. Therefore, the Democratic Teachers Front, Punjab has requested the state government to defer the exam. They said that students, as well as teachers, may face a problem in reaching their centers.

The association has extended its support to the Gramin Bharat Bandh call.

Why have farmers called for Gramin Bharat Bandh?

According to a report by The Indian Express (IE), the demand is similar to those of the farmers marching towards Delhi.

Some of these demands include, a minimum wage of 26,000 per month, repeal of four labour codes, guaranteed employment as a fundamental right, opposition to privatization of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and contextualization of the workforce, and abolition of fixed-term employment.

They also want a Minimum Support Price for crops based on the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission of C2+50 (input cost of capital 50%), the legal guarantee of procurement, debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, and no smart metres.

Union ministers to meet farmer leaders at 5 pm today

A panel of three union ministers is scheduled to meet the farmer leaders in Chandigarh today at 5 pm. These three ministers are -Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Arjun Munda, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, and Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai.

This will be the third round of talks between the two sides: the previous two rounds of dialogue on February 8 and 12 remained inconclusive.

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Published: 15 Feb 2024, 01:45 PM IST
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