Sunday, March 29, 2015

https://youtu.be/vqEvq-EV_2A

https://youtu.be/vqEvq-EV_2A

Friday, March 27, 2015

भाकियू पर्तिनिधिमंडल ने कृषि उत्पादन आयुक्त से मिलकर किसानो की आत्महत्या व् फसलो का उचित मुआवजा दिए जाने की मांग करते हुए कहा ---

भाकियू पर्तिनिधिमंडल ने कृषि उत्पादन आयुक्त से मिलकर किसानो की आत्महत्या व् फसलो का  उचित मुआवजा दिए जाने की मांग करते हुए कहा ---






माननीय,
श्री अखिलेश यादव,
मुख्यमंत्री उत्तर प्रदेश, सरकार लखनऊ।
विषय:-   प्राकृतिक आपदा से पूर्णतः नष्ट हुई किसानों की फसलों का उचित मुआवजा अविलम्ब दिये जाने हेतु।
महोदय,
आपके पूर्व से ही संज्ञान में है कि प्रदेश में आयी प्राकृतिक आपदा से किसानों की फसलें पूर्णतः नष्ट हो गई है। यह आपदा ऐसे समय आयी है कि जब किसानों की फसलें पूर्ण रूप से तैयार हो चुकी थी। फसलों की बर्बादी को देखकर किसान हताश व निराश होकर मौत को गले लगे रहे है। प्रदेश में सैकडों के आसपास किसान आत्महत्या कर चुके है। आत्महत्याओं का यह सिलसिला बादस्तूर जारी है, जो रूकने का नाम नहीं ले रहा है। प्रदेश में लगभग दो हजार करोड से अधिक किसानों की फसलों का नुकसान हुआ है। ऐसी स्थिति में सरकार को दिल खोलकर किसानों की मदद किये जाने की आवश्यकता है। अभी तक सरकार द्वारा जो कदम उठाए गए है, वह नाकाफी है। प्रदेश में किसानों पर आजीविका एवं कर्ज चुकाए जाने का संकट खडा हो गया है।
भारतीय किसान यूनियन मांग करती है कि किसानों को खाद्य फसलों पर 25 हजार रुपये व नगदी फसलों पर 50 हजार रुपये एकड की दर से मुआवजा घोषित करते हुए किसानों के सभी तरह के कर्ज  (निजी व सरकारी) व बिजली के बिल माफ किये जाए।
किसानों ने कर्ज के भार के कारण आत्महत्याएं की है। जिसका बडा आंकडा बुन्देलखण्ड से मिल रहा है। आत्महत्या करने वाले किसानों के परिवार को 10 लाख रुपये का मुआवजा व परिवार के एक सदस्य को नौकरी का प्रावधान किया जाए।
आशा है कि जल्द से जल्द किसान हित में उपरोक्त राहत दिये जाने का कार्य उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार द्वारा किया जाएगा।
भवदीय
चै. नरेश टिकैत          श्री राजेश सिंह चैहान
(राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष भाकियू) (प्रदेश अध्यक्ष भाकियू)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

प्रधानमंत्री मोदी जी की मन बात से किसानो में नहीं जगी आशा की किरण ,किसानो के गम्भीर मुद्दो फसलो के लाभकारी मूलय ,आमदनी गारंटी ,आत्महत्या पर न बोलने से किसानो में निराशा -----भाकियू

प्रधानमंत्री मोदी जी की मन बात से किसानो  में  नहीं जगी आशा की किरण ,किसानो के गम्भीर मुद्दो फसलो के लाभकारी मूलय ,आमदनी गारंटी ,आत्महत्या पर न बोलने से किसानो में निराशा -----भाकियू 

संवाद एकतरफा नही होता ,किसानो को भी मन की बात कहने के लिए कोई रेडिओ उपलब्ध कराये मोदी सरकार --राकेश टिकैत 

नई दिल्ली २२ मार्च ----आज देश के प्रधानमन्त्री जी ने किसानो के मुद्दो पर "मन की बात " की ,लेकिन  देश के प्रधानमन्त्री जी का बात सुनकर देश का किसान निराश हो गया । किसानो को उम्मीद थी कि सरकार गठन के दस माह बाद मोदी जी को पहली बार किसान की याद आई है तो देश के प्रधानमंत्री जी किसानो से किये गए आपने वादे फसलो की लागत में 50 % जोड़कर लाभकारी मूल्य देना ,किसानो की आपदा से हुए हानि की भरपाई हेतु मुआवजा राशि की घोषणा करना ,किसानो की आमदनी निश्चित करना ,आजीविका सुरक्षा ,किसानो की बढ़ रही आत्महत्या रोकना जैसे मुद्दो पर कोई गंभीर जानकारी देंगे ,लेकिन मोदी  केवल भूमि अधिग्रहण बिल पर अपनी सफाई देते नजर आये । 
मोदी जी ने देश के किसानो जमीन के मुद्दे पर भी  गुमराह करते हुए कहा कि हमारी सरकार ने बिल में बदलाव कर 13 दूसरे कानून जिनके अंतर्गत भी जमीन का अधिग्रहण होता है ,उनको भी इस कानून की परिधि  गया है । यह बात मोदी जी की गलत है ,क्योकि भूमि अधिग्रहण कानून 2013 में स्पस्ट लिखा था कि दूसरे कानून भी एक साल के बाद इसकी परिधि में आयेगे ,मोदी जी की सरकार ने केवल इसको लागु किया । 
पहले कानून में सभी प्रभावित  नौकरी का प्रावधान था,लेकिन मोदीसरकार  ने इसे बदलकर केवल खेती मजदुर परिवार कर दिया है । मुआवजे की राशि में मोदी सरकार द्वारा कोई बदलाव नहीं किया है ,भाकियू का  दावा है कि कही भी चार  गुना नहीं मिलेगा क्योकि सर्किल रेट वास्तविक मूलय से काम है ,यह देश का खुला रहस्य  है । मोदी जी ने मन की बात  में इस विषय को भी उठाया है कि किसानो को   डूभ क्षेत्र की जमीनो से  नहीं हटाया जायगा लेकिन  बताये यह कानून में  है  यह कहा लिखा है । 
भारतीय किसान यूनियन का यह भी कहना है कि जिन पांच क्षेत्रो में सरकार अधिग्रहण से पड़ने वाले असर का आकलन करने से मन कर रही है ,उन्ही क्षेत्रो में  तक सबसे ज्यादा अधिग्रण हुआ है ।
 प्रधानमंत्री मोदी जी की मन की बात से किये गए संवाद से स्तबध हु कि मोदी जी ने इतने बड़े मंच से भी किसानो को गुमराह किया है । संवाद कभी एक तरफ से नहीं होता ,मोदी जी किसानो को कोई मंच दे ,जिससे किसानो के मन की बात भी मोदी जी जान सके । 


                                                                                                                                                             भवदीय 

                                                                                                                                                          चौ राकेश टिकैत 

                                                                                                                                       प्रवक्ता भारतीय किसान यूनियन 

BKU's reaction to Prime Minister's "Mann Ki Baat"

PRIME MINISTER’S MANN KI BAAT DOES NOT GIVE ANY HOPE TO FARMERS OF INDIA:

"No assurance from Modi on crucial issues that are life & death issues for farmers": BKU


New Delhi, March 22, 2015: Reacting to the Prime Minister’s “Mann Ki Baat” speech on radio today, specifically addressing farmers of India, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) said it was disappointed by the long justification given on the Land Acquisition Amendments Bill that too based on false claims, while the PM did not touch on many other real issues that are life and death questions for farmers. These include fair and remunerative prices, disaster relief and compensation, farm incomes and so on.

“On the Land Acquisition Amendments Bill, the Prime Minister took credit for bringing 13 laws that were not under the purview of the 2013 Act, whereas the reality is that these were in any case to be brought under the Act in one year’s time when the 2013 Act was enacted by the UPA government. He further said that jobs would be provided to those affected, as per NDA’s amendment. What he did not mention was job commitment has actually come down from what the 2013 Act provided for: Under that Act, rehabilitation and resettlement award for each affected family included mandatory employment for the members of the family. The amendments change this provision to ensure compulsory employment to at least one member of such an “affected family of a farm labour” which means that the jobs commitment has actually come down from all affected families to families of farm labourers! With regard to compensation, no one is arguing that this government is bringing down the levels of compensation. Right from 2013, the argument around compensation is that circle rates, which are severely suppressed because stamp duty is evaded in this country, are not an adequate basis and that there should be a basis of assessing real market value of land, and compensation should be based on this. BKU also challenges the Prime Minister to provide proof for saying that his government is allowing farmers to cultivate acquired land even after acquisition – which clause of the Ordinance or Amendments Bill says this, BKU would like to see. While 5 categories of projects have indeed been exempted from Prior Informed Consent and Social Impact Assessment, the Prime Minister claimed that no dilution has been made to this clause. This is of course a wrong claim! It is to be noted the largest chunks of land get acquired within these five categories that have been exempted. We are disappointed that some media houses are claiming that the Prime Minister has clarified all the fears of farmer organisations – we want to point out that it is not the case and we are shocked at the Prime Minister’s so-called clarification”, said Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson, BKU.

BKU is also disappointed that the Prime Minister only expressed his sympathy for farmers who have incurred losses during the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorm in most states of India but did not announce any disaster relief and compensation which was eagerly awaited by all farmers of the country. BKU also reminded that the BJP which had promised remunerative prices in the form of MSPs that would be based on a C2+50% formula (50% living margin over Cost of Cultivation/Production) has been unfulfilled so far and the Prime Minister’s silence on the subject does not give any hope to farmers.

For more information, please contact:

Rakesh Tikait, National Spokesperson, BKU: +91-9219666799

Dharmendra Malik, BKU: +91-9219691168 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

AICCFM KISAN MAHA PANCHAYAT APPEALS TO THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA NOT TO GIVE HIS ASSENT TO ANY ORDINANCE ON THE SUBJECT

KISAN MAHA PANCHAYAT CELEBRATES FACT THAT GOVT. CAME UNDER PRESSURE FROM FARMERS & DID NOT TABLE LAND ACQUISITION BILL IN RAJYA SABHA


New Delhi, March 21, 2015: After three days of patient vigil on Parliament Street through a Kisan Maha Panchayat, thousands of farmers affiliated with All India Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements led by Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), dispersed this evening celebrating the fact that the government was brought under pressure not to table the Land Acquisition Amendments Bill in Rajya Sabha when the Parliament closed for a Recess. It is the victory of farmers’ struggle all over India and of this Kisan Maha Panchayat, they said. Given the fact that the Ordinance is about to lapse and the government might attempt to get the Ordinance re-promulgated, they shifted their attention to the President of India. This evening, a delegation went to Rashtrapati Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to the President of India urging him not to give his assent to any Ordinance on the subject. They also warned the government that they will occupy the Parliament Street again and intensify the agitation across the country, if it attempts to bring back an anti-farmer, pro-industry legislation once the Parliament Recess gets over.

“The Ordinance and the Bill passed in the Lok Sabha are not acceptable to us. In the name of development and reforms, this Ordinance would seriously jeopardise food and livelihood security of the country. We presented our objections and concerns to the President with regard to the amendments that the government is attempting – this is all the more surprising and disappointing given that it was BJP which argued for long term land lease and not land acquisition when the 2013 Bill was being debated in the Parliament. We also reminded the President about his own cautionary words against the Ordinance route being adopted by the government. We warn the government that we will intensify our struggle if the government does not give up its anti-farmer policies and continues to facilitate land grab. Further, farmers all over the country will continue resisting any forcible and unjustifiable land acquisition as before. It is time that government urgently puts out a comprehensive white paper on how much land has been acquired so far, what is the current status of utilization and ownership of the same, status of compensation paid as well as status of resettlement and rehabilitation”, said Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).

Leaders of the farmer unions also expressed their deep condolences on the death of 13 of their colleagues who had set off to join the Kisan Maha Panchayat in Delhi, in an accident. Senior Office Bearers will leave to meet with the bereaved families.  

Speakers in the Kisan Maha Panchayat warned the government that they are now convinced about the anti-farmer policies of this government and would spread the word at the grassroots once they go back to the villages.

For more information, contact:

Rakesh Tikait: +91-92-196-66799; Email: bku.tikait@gmail.com
Yudhvir Singh: +91-98-681-46405; Email: yudhvir55@yahoo.com


TEXT OF THE MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA:

To:                                                                                                               March 21, 2015

Shri Pranab Mukherjee,
Hon’ble President of India.

Respected Sir,

Sub: Urging you not to give your assent to any Ordinance or Amendments Bill related to Land Acquisition – reg.

Namaste! Sir, as you might be kindly aware, thousands of farmers have been staying on Parliament Street from March 18th 2015 morning protesting the anti-farmer policies of the government, in a Kisan Maha Panchayat that drew farmers from 13 states of India into the capital. Protestors, who have gathered under the banner of All India Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (AICCFM), which is not affiliated to any political party but is an independent movement led by India’s largest farm union – Bhartiya Kisan Union –, have resolved that they will not move from Parliament Street until their concerns are addressed. However, the government has not made any moves to initiate a dialogue with them, subjecting these Anna Daatas to great hardships. This in itself belies the current government’s claims of having farmers’ best interests at heart.

We are particularly concerned about the Land Acquisition Ordinance and the Amendments Bill that got passed in Lok Sabha. Sir, this is to appeal to your good self not to give your assent to any Ordinance or Bill that does not protect our farmers’ interest, our nation’s food sovereignty and our citizens’ livelihood security. As you are kindly aware, after decades of intense struggles against unjust land acquisition all over the country based on a colonial law, this country’s citizens and lawmakers have been able to create an Act that at least tries to give a somewhat level playing field between the ones whose land is being acquired, and the one acquiring in the form of “The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013”. You would kindly remember that it was BJP who argued that there should be no land acquisition in the first instance, but only long term land lease, when the 2013 Bill was being debated in the Parliament.
 
We believe that from this law, (1) there should be no dilution of clauses related to prior informed consent from affected people – any exemption to this is all the more unacceptable where private entities’ involvement is also present. (2) Nor should there be any dilution of impact assessment mechanisms which could lead to exploration related to appropriate alternatives where feasible in each case. In fact, it is apparent that only such an impact assessment will facilitate any fair and just rehabilitation package. It is not acceptable that the central government thinks that states can take these processes up if they deem it necessary – we believe that this should be mandatory and should be embedded into the law. These are the only mechanisms in the law by which unfair and unjustifiable land acquisition can be stopped. (3) We are opposed to the current approach to “industrial corridors” where land to the extent of upto one kilometer on both sides of highways and railways can be acquired. This is absolutely unjustifiable and would seriously jeopardise this nation’s food and livelihood security. (4) With regard to compensation, circle rates are not acceptable since it is a grossly unfair valuation mechanism and it is an open secret in the country that circle rates are severely suppressed. Where land has to be absolutely acquired for a genuine development purpose that too with prior informed consent, the compensation has to be based on market values and a mechanism has to be evolved for assessing such value. (5) We are also opposed to multi-cropped land being acquired. (6) We also believe that accountability clauses fixed on government officials in the 2013 Act have to be kept in tact, to protect the interests of ordinary citizens.

Sir, you have already cautioned the government on the Ordinance route being adopted way back in January 2015 itself. We urge you not to sign on any Ordinance related to Land Acquisition now since this is the very first time that the nation is debating this issue so intensely both inside and outside the Parliament, and there cannot be unhealthy shortcuts taken by the government to such democratic processes.

We would also like to draw your attention to the other issues that we are raising as we sit in protest in the Kisan Maha Panchayat, which are long pending and burning issues that are life and death questions for millions of farmers in the country. These relate to: ensuring fair and remunerative prices to farm produce by adopting the Swaminathan Commission recommendation of at least 50% margins over cost of cultivation/production in price-fixing formulae; ensuring effective procurement and market Con and thwarting any moves at dismantling our procurement and public distribution system (as is being recommended by the Shantakumar High Level Committee on Restructuring the FCI); putting into place appropriate and adequate disaster insurance and relief mechanisms for all farmers and crops in the country since the current systems are grossly inadequate; guaranteeing minimum living incomes to all farm households including through the establishment of a Farm Income Commission; ensuring that no open air field trials of GMOs take place in the country and that no further commercialization or import of GMOs/GM food takes place, particularly in the face of ever-emerging scientific evidence on the risks of this irreversible, living technology and increasing rejection world over; removing agriculture from trade agreements like WTO and Free Trade Agreements since this is a matter of food sovereignty and livelihood security; ensuring that sugarcane farmers are paid their long-pending dues immediately. We are attaching a copy of our Memorandum to the Prime Minister.

We request you to kindly intervene urgently on the above, and we also urge you to assure us that no Ordinance related to land acquisition will be signed by you. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Sd/-
Naresh Tikait, President, BKU
Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, President, BKU Punjab
Rakesh Tikait, National Spokesperson, BKU
Yudhvir Singh, Convenor, AICCFM                  
  


Friday, March 20, 2015

प्रेस नोट भाकियू के धरने के तीसरे दिन भी संसद मार्ग पर डटे हजारों किसान, आम आदमी पार्टी के सांसद गुरसेवक सिंह ने धरने पर पहुंचकर कहा कि किसानों की आवाज संसद में उठाऊंगाः भाकियू


प्रेस नोट
भाकियू के धरने के तीसरे दिन भी संसद मार्ग पर डटे हजारों किसान, आम आदमी पार्टी के सांसद गुरसेवक सिंह ने धरने पर पहुंचकर कहा कि किसानों की आवाज संसद में उठाऊंगाः भाकियू
भाकियू ने प्रधानमंत्री को पत्र लिखकर कहा कि भूमि अधिग्रहण बिल 2015 पर खुुली बहस के लिए तैयारः चै. टिकैत
आज दिनांक 20 मार्च 2015 को भारतीय किसान यूनियन का दिल्ली में संसद मार्ग पर जारी है। किसानों ने मंच के माध्यम से अपने दर्द को रखा। धरने के तीसरे दिन भी किसान बिना किसी सुविध के संसद मार्ग पर जमे है। सरकार द्वारा आवश्यक इंतजाम न किये जाने का दर्द भी किसानों को है। आज आम आदमी पार्टी के सांसद गुरसेवक सिंह ने कहा कि देश की सरकारों ने अन्नदाता के साथ कभी न्याय नहीं किया। यहां पर आये किसानों की बात को मैं देश की संसद में पहुंचाने का कार्य करूगा। आम आदमी पार्टी देश के किसानों के साथ है।
भारतीय किसान यूनियन के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष चै. नरेश टिकैत व अखिल भारतीय किसान आन्दोलन की समन्वय समिति के समन्वयक चै. युद्धवीर सिंह ने माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी को संयुक्त पत्र लिखकर भूमि अधिग्रहण बिल 2015 पर खुली बहस कराये जाने हेतु निमन्त्रण दिया। अखिल भारतीय कांग्रेस कमैटी उत्तर प्रदेश की तरफ से नसीब पठान सदस्य विधान परिषद ने भी किसानों के बीच पहुंचकर अपना समर्थन दिया।
धरने को राजपाल शर्मा राष्ट्रीय महासचिव, विरेन्द्र डागर दिल्ली प्रदेश अध्यक्ष, जगदीश सिंह, हरनाम सिंह वर्मा, राजा रिगा तमिल नाडु फार्मर एसोसिशएशन, के.टी. गंगाधर, सहित कई किसान नेताओं ने सम्बोधित किया।

माननीय,
श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी जी,
प्रधानमंत्री भारत सरकार,
7, रेस क्राॅस रोड, नई दिल्ली।
विषयः- राजग सरकार को भूमि अधिग्रहण बिल 2015 पर बहस हेतु खुला निमन्त्रण।
आदरणीय श्री मोदी जी,
समाचार पत्रों के माध्यम से ज्ञात हुआ है कि आपकी सरकार द्वारा कुछ राजनीतिक दल के नेताओं को भूमि अधिग्रहण बिल 2015 पर खुली बहस हेतु निमन्त्रण दिया है।
भूमि अधिग्रहण बिल का मसौदा देश के किसानों के लिए बहुत चिंता का विषय है। हम किसानों के लिए बहुत आवश्यक है कि इसकी अच्छाई और बुराई पर बहस होनी चाहिए।
हम किसान संगठन के लोग इस विषय पर आपकी सरकार व सरकार के प्रतिनिधियों से खुली बहस के तैयार है।
हमारा आपसे निवेदन है कि आप इस विषय पर किसानों के साथ खुली चर्चा के लिए सरकार की तरफ से प्रतिनिधि नियुक्त किये जाने का कष्ट करें। इस विषय पर चर्चा हेतु सरकार सुविधानुसार समय और जगह का चुनाव कर भारतीय किसान यूनियन के प्रतिनिधियों को अवगत कराने का कष्ट करें। क्योंकि यह भविष्य में किसानों की आजीविका से जुडा सवाल है।
देशभर से पिछले तीन दिनों से 20 हजार से अधिक किसान भूमि अधिग्रहण बिल व खेती किसानी से जुडे़ मुद्दों को लेकर संसद मार्ग पर धरनारत है। किसानों को केवल इस बात का इंतजार है कि क्या देश के प्रधानमंत्री किसानों से चाय पर चर्चा या मन की बात करने के इच्छुक है, या नहीं।
देश के विभिन्न संगठनों के प्रतिनिधि भूमि अधिग्रहण बिल 2015 पर चर्चा के लिए तैयार है।
आशा है कि आपके द्वारा जल्द से जल्द इस विषय पर किसानों से चर्चा की जाएगी।
भवदीय

चै. नरेश टिकैत चै. युद्धवीर सिंह
(राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष भाकियू)  समन्वयक
 (अखिल भारतीय किसान आन्दोलन समन्वय समिति)

                                                                      भवदीय

   चै. राकेश टिकैत
( राष्ट्रीय प्रवक्ता भाकियू  )




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

1000s of farmers decide to stay put in Kisan Maha Panchayat on Parliament Street in Delhi: Farmer Unions launch massive agitation against NDA’s anti-farmer policies

New Delhi, March 18th 2015: Major farmer unions of India affiliated with the All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM) have launched a massive agitation against NDA’s anti-farmer policies, and to seek a resolution to several burning issues pertaining to farm livelihoods, on March 18th 2015 through a Kisan Maha Panchayat in the heart of India’s capital. Thousands of farmers have resolved to stay put on Parliament Street in India's capital until the government engages them in a dialogue to resolve various burning issues. Anti-farmer measures through the Land Acquisition Ordinance, recent report of Shanta Kumar High Level Committee on restructuring FCI, the mindless push by the government of GM crops, lack of fair and remunerative prices for farm produce, demand for a farm income commission, removing agriculture from free trade agreements including WTO, adequate disaster relief for farmers etc., are issues on the agenda of these farm unions. The acute farm distress in India, marked by unabated farm suicides was flagged as a matter that needs urgent addressal. It is reported that during the NDA Government since May 2014, more than 7000 farmers have committed suicide. The government, instead of increasing Budget allocation to deal with the agrarian crisis, has drastically reduced agriculture budget drastically from around 31 thousand crore in 2014-15 to around 25 thousand crores in 2015-16. In fact, the budget outlays for Dept of Agriculture and Cooperation as well as for animal husbandry and fisheries are down to the levels of budgetary allocations five years ago!

To protest against various anti-farmer policies, and to secure some long pending demands that will guarantee minimum living incomes to all farm households, thousands of farmers from all over India have congregated at the Kisan Maha Panchayat on Parliament Street in the heart of the capital today (March 18th 2015).

All the unions threatened to step up their agitation if the Ordinance-routed dilutions to the Land Acquisition Act of 2013 were not rolled back by the government. “In the current debate unfolding in the Parliament, we are watching out for those political parties which are ready to sacrifice farmers’ interests as well as the food security interests of the country, in their mindless support for the industry. We would like to warn them that they will have to face increased opposition from citizens who are fighting for their basic right to livelihood. Even a preliminary prima facie analysis shows that at least 50% of the tens of lakhs of hectares that have been acquired in the name of land banks, industrial corridors, freight corridors, highways, airports and so on have remained unallotted or unutilized for the stated purpose – given that the average Indian farm household has just around one hectare of landholding, this means dispossession of lakhs of farmers straightaway, and this is totally unacceptable. In such a scenario, protecting farmers’ interests without diluting consent and comprehensive impact assessment clauses in law becomes critical”.

Shri Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, President, BKU Punjab said that various moves by the government in the past few months belie the BJP promises before elections that emphasized on increase in farmers’ income with an acknowledgement that agriculture is the largest employer in India. “Whether it is the reported plans to dismantle the current procurement system in the country in the name of a High Level Committee report for restructuring FCI or the lack of any moves to announce MSPs that give a margin of at least 50% over cost of cultivation, it is apparent that this government is not committed to reviving agriculture or securing sustainable dignified incomes to farm households. We demand that the MSP should be at least 50% over cost of production, and that procurement systems in the country be strengthened further and not weakened in any way. We need a system which will create a win-win for food security of consumers and livelihood security of farmers”, he said.

Speaking to media persons, Shri Rakesh Tikait, National Spokesperson, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) demanded that the Government should set up a Farm Income Commission to guarantee minimum living incomes to all farm households. While such living incomes can be ensured through adequate, fair and remunerative price decisions coupled with procurement and other market intervention mechanisms, there is also a need to compensate for losses due to various natural calamities including wild animal attacks on crops. He also demanded that all arrears due to sugarcane farmers should be paid immediately and the same recovered later from the sugar industry.

“The government is exhibiting its pro-industry stance by pushing for unneeded, unwanted and unsafe GMOs in our farming. We want all open air field trials of GM crops stopped immediately in the country since such open air trials pose not only a risk of contamination but also risk of trade rejection. Further, any moves towards trade liberalization in agriculture whether through the WTO route or through free trade agreements are unacceptable to us. FTAs such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and EU India FTA will lead to slashing of agricultural tariff and allowing import of cheap subsidised foods which would further depress farmgate prices and drastically impact farmers’ livelihood. The issues with Agreement on Agriculture are not limited to just MSP and procurement but the fact that we are getting priced out due to unfair and cleverly-camouflaged subsidies elsewhere. This is now a well-understood issue and the government has to ensure that AoA is removed from the WTO and that all FTAs being negotiated by the government should immediately drop any agriculture-related clauses”, said Shri Yudhvir Singh, Convenor of the All India Coordination Committee of Indian Farmers Movements.

It is important to note that these farmer unions are not affiliated with any political party and farmers affiliated with these unions have come from far and wide, spending their own resources, to get their voice heard with the government and to assert their rights. 

For any communication in this regard, please contact:

Rakesh Tikait: +91-9219666799; Email: bku.tikait@gmail.com
Yudhvir Singh: +91-9868146405; Email: yudhvir55@yahoo.com

========================

TEXT OF THE MEMORANDUM ADDRESSED TO THE PRIME MINISTER PASTED BELOW:

18th March 2015
To:

Shri Narendra Modi,
Prime Minister of India
7, Race Course Road
New Delhi - 110011.


Dear Sir,

Subject: Memorandum seeking resolution to various issues of concern for farmers of the country and for withdrawing recent anti-farmer policies and measures – reg.

We, farmer leaders associated with All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM), are very disappointed with the NDA government policy reforms on agriculture which are unfortunately not directed for the benefit of millions of small and marginal farmers but are mainly to benefit a handful of corporates to augment their profit. We were quite hopeful that under your leadership, we would see a big support for agriculture sector and a concrete plan to deal with the on-going agrarian crisis. But in 300 days of your leadership, we have not seen any tangible gains. Agrarian crisis has become more acute and farmers’ suicides are continuing unabated. We fear that the pro-corporate agricultural policy reforms in this NDA rule will further worsen our situation.

Today, more than 50 thousand farmers assembled at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and held a Kisan Maha Panchayat to protest against your government’s anti-farmer policies on agriculture. The objectionable Land Acquisition Ordinance which is bound to worsen farm livelihoods, recent report of Shanta Kumar High Level Committee on restructuring FCI, the mindless push by the government of GM crops, lack of fair and remunerative prices for farm produce, and our long-pending demand for a farm income commission etc., were the key issues which was raised by the farmers leaders at Jantar Mantar. In this age of diminishing farm returns and increasing inflation, where official data points to incomes from cultivation in agricultural households being far lower than statutory minimum wages for unskilled work, farmers are agitating to secure a long pending demand for income support that will guarantee minimum living incomes to all farm households.

Through this memorandum, members of the AICCFM would like to seek resolution of some burning issues, failing which we will be forced to launch a massive agitation against NDA’s anti-farmer policies. These include:

1.      The Land Acquisition Ordinance: The Ordinance and the Bill in Lok Sabha completely reverses any pro-farmer provisions of the 2013 Act, which were brought about after decades of struggle by farmers and project displaced people. The changes being brought in by your government puts the Act back to the 1894 level. It is apparent that the key objective of amending the LARR Act 2013 is to get rid of all social safeguards that protected farmers against forcible and unjustifiable land acquisition in the name of public purpose or PPPs. We object your government’s move to remove these safeguards especially, the mandatory approval of at least 70% and 80% of affected people for acquiring land for PPP projects and for private companies respectively; the provisions for ‘No land without consent of people’; ‘the scrutiny of public purpose’; mechanism of Social Impact Assessment with public participation in Social Impact Assessment; and No to multi-cropped land. At another level, it is seen that the government is also diluting other laws so that resource-grabbing by corporations is made easier.

The NDA government is ready to facilitate large-scale land acquisition and land grabbing for several so-called development projects, including for private sector, which will have serious impact on the livelihood security of the farmers and food security of our sovereign nation. Lakhs of hectares of land have already been acquired in the name of various development projects including freight corridors, industrial corridors, land banks, highways and so on. Some estimates put this in tens of thousands of square kilometres of land or lakhs of hectares of land. It is also reported that much of the land acquired is unallotted and under-/un-utilised by the acquirer, especially against the purpose for which it has been acquired. While there is a need for a White Paper to be issued by the government on the exact status of acquisition, compensation, utilisation put of that land for the initial-stated reason, resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced etc., it has to be remembered that in a country where the average landholding is just around one hectare of land for a majority of landholders, this magnitude of land acquisition is a direct denial of livelihood rights of lakhs of Indians.

The AICCFM farmers demand an immediate withdrawal of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill (Amendment) Bill 2015 even though it has been cleared by the Lok Sabha early this month and the same should not be tabled in Rajya Sabha at all. We urge the government to listen to the mood of the nation on the subject. The overwhelming demand is that the Ordinance should be scrapped. In fact, any deficiencies in the 2013 Act should be addressed rather than weaken the legislation against farmers’ interests.

2.      Provide Remunerative Price for Farmers Produce and Implement C2+50: Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), in its manifesto (2014) announced that it will ensure that agriculture becomes profitable. The party and its leaders had promised to implement Swaminathan Commission Report’s (2005) recommendation to provide MSP based on Cost of production (C2) plus 50% as profit margin. However, even after forming the central government, NDA has made no attempt to implement this promise; further, the MSP announcements have been extremely disappointing. We demand from the BJP government that it fulfil its commitment as announced in its manifesto and provide remunerative price for farmers produce, at C2+50%.

3.      Shanta Kumar High Level Committee Report and Recommendation on Restructuring FCI: Farmers’ organisations all over the country are quite outraged at the Anti-Farmer and Anti-Food-Security recommendations of the High Level Committee (HCL) on Restructuring of Food Corporation of India (FCI). The recommendations are essentially a U-turn on BJP promises made in the manifesto which favoured universal food security. The HLC report recommends that FCI step out of procurement operations in addition to asking for dilution of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to reduce its coverage from present 67% to 40% which would be disastrous not only for the livelihood of millions of farmers but will affect food security of the millions of India’s landless, poor and destitutes. And in order to finish the MSP system, this committee recommended bringing in the cash transfer in the food security programme. We demand that the government announce that these recommendations are not acceptable to it and therefore, will not be taken on board.

4.      Write off all farm loans: The latest NSSO findings on agricultural households shows the levels of indebtedness of agricultural households. Today, the unabated phenomenon of farmers’ suicide indicates that Indian farmers are reeling under such loan burden from institutional sources and private moneylenders. Farmers’ leaders demand that the NDA government must write off all institutional loans of farmers. Government must also instruct public banks and cooperatives banks to give fresh loans to farmers at 0% interest.

5.      Institute Government Policy to compensate loss due to Natural Calamity: Farmers’ leaders demand that the NDA government bring in a Union Policy to compensate farmers for the crop loss due to natural calamity. There should be a clear-cut provision for irrigated and non-irrigated farmers for compensation. The Government must also institute an Emergency Fund to provide compensation to farmers on an urgent basis in case of crop loss due to natural calamities, like floods, heavy rains and drought as well as wild animal attacks.

Certain parts of India, especially Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed heavy rain and hail storm in last one week (in March 2015) which destroyed standing crops of wheat, mustard, cotton and horticulture crops like apples. We demand from your government a grant Rs. 30,000 per acre for food crops, Rs. 50,000 for cash crops and to bring in proper measures to compensate horticulture farmers as soon as possible for their loss.

6.      Trade Liberalization in Agriculture: We urge the NDA government not to allow any trade liberalization in agricultural goods through WTO or FTAs. Given the unabated and disguised subsidies given elsewhere to agricultural produce, Indian farmers end up making huge losses, when such subsidised produce gets imported. Farmers unions demand from Indian government to move a proposal in the WTO to remove Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) from WTO. Farmers also demand that agriculture-related provisions from all FTAs negotiated by the Indian government must be dropped.

7.      Institute Farmers’ Pay Commission: Farmers demand from the NDA government to institute a Farmers Income Commission whose mandate will be to ensure minimum living incomes in a guaranteed fashion to all farm households. Through this commission, government must ensure income to farmers which is equal to the salary of a 4th Grade government employees to help them live a dignified life.

8.      NO to GMOs: Farmers unions would like to remind the NDA government to stay true to their earlier stand of utmost precaution with regard to GMOs, which their state governments are still reflecting at this point of time. GMOs are unneeded, unwanted and unsafe in our food and farming systems and we demand that the government do not allow any open air field trials of GMOs, further commercialisation or import of any Genetically Engineered seeds or crops or trees.

9.      Pay Arrears to Sugarcane Farmers: Sugarcane farmers have not received their arrears for the last two years. We demand that instead of forcing sugar industries to pay to farmers, the government instead pay all arrears due to sugarcane farmers immediately and collect the same from the industry.

We would like to have your intervention on these issues of major concern for farmers and we hope that you would soon take appropriate measures to address our concerns in a substantive and solid fashion.

Kind regards,

Ch. Naresh Tikait,
President,
BKU

Dewanchand Chaudhury,
Vice President,
BKU

Yudhvir Singh,
Convenor,
AICCFM

Rajpal Sharma,
Secretary,
BKU

Ratan Singh Mann
BKU President
Haryana

Rajesh Chouhan
BKU, UP



Ajmer Singh Lakhowal,
State President,
BKU Punjab

Balram Lambardar,
Vice President,
BKU

Satnam Singh Cheema,
BKU
Uttarakhand

Virender Singh
BKU, Delhi


KT Gangadhar
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka

Jagdish Singh,
BKU, Madhya Pradesh

Vijay Jawandhia,
Shetkari Sanghatan,
Maharashtra

KS Puttanaiah (MLA),
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka

K. Sella Mutthu,
President, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, Tamil Nadu

Nallagounder,
Uzhavar Ulaippalar Katchi,
Tamil Nadu Farmers Association

S S Gill,
President,
BKU Himachal

Chamarasa Patil
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka

Vidyadhar Okhla,
BKU, Rajasthan

For any communication in this regard, please contact:

Rakesh Tikait: +91-9219666799; Email: bku.tikait@gmail.com

Yudhvir Singh: +91-9868146405; Email: yudhvir55@yahoo.com


Saturday, March 7, 2015