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Farmers Slam ‘Useless’ PM-KISAN Scheme, Dub it a Poll Gimmick

"What farmers want is fair price for their produce, which has not been guaranteed by the govt,” Bhartiya Kisan Union’s Yudhveer Singh said.

Leaders of farmers’ rights organisations have rejected the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) launched by the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The scheme, which seeks to deposit Rs 6,000 per year to the accounts of around 12 crore small and marginal farmers, has been termed “useless” by farmers, in relation to addressing the agricultural distress in the country.

Per a report by Prakash Kumar in Deccan Herald, the rejection came after over forty farmers’ unions held a two-day meeting under the umbrella of the All India Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movement. Dissatisfied with the policies of the current government, the farmers’ groups decided to make rural distress a major poll issue

Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Yudhveer Singh reportedly told the press, “The Government should stop this scheme. It is of no use for farmers. They never wanted it. What the farmers want is a fair price for their produce, which has not been guaranteed by the government.”

Addressing the joint conference, Vijay Jawandia, a farmers’ leader from Maharashtra reportedly said, “All the announcements that Modi ji has made for the welfare of the farmers is nothing but a poll gimmick in view of the losses that his party suffered in the three State Assembly polls recently.”

Also read: First Instalment of PM-KISAN Delayed Due to Errors in Data, 90 Lakh Farmers Affected

Deccan Herald reported that the farmers’ unions also released a list of 18 demands including unconditional loan waiver, a minimum support price (MSP) of 1.5 times the production cost and a minimum assured income ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per month to farmers. They appealed all political parties to incorporate the demands in their poll manifesto.

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leader Chamarasa Mali Patil reportedly said that farmers from the north and south are united “to build pressure” on the new government formed after 2019 elections, to ensure the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement is rejected.
India is currently negotiating the RCEP with 16 countries including China, Australia, and ten ASEAN countries. At the meeting, the farmers’ unions ‘unanimously’ rejected the agreement, reported Deccan Herald.

The article reported Punjab farmers’ leader Ajmer Singh Lakhwal saying, “This (agreement) is the most dangerous move. It will completely end the farming community, as it will remove tariffs on 92 per cent  traded commodities and open the floodgates to cheap imports.”

Also read: Loan Waivers to Rich Cronies, Pittance For Farmers: Sitaram Yechury Slams PM-KISAN Launch

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