Debt waiver: Farmers to hand over letters on May 10

By Times Of India on 09 May 2018 | read
BATHINDA: On a call of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), peasants across the country, including Punjab, will assemble at the district headquarters on May 10 on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the First War of Independence in 1857 to present appeal letters for debt waiver to the district authorities. The appeal letters signed by hundreds of peasants will be addressed to Rajya Sabha chairman and Lok Sabha Speaker, urging them to call a special session of Parliament to pass private member bills on ‘Farmers Freedom from Indebtedness Bill-2018’ and ‘Farmers Right to Guaranteed Remunerative Minimum Support Price for Agricultural Commodities Bill-2018’.

A massive signature campaign has been conducted in rural areas to press upon the Lok Sabha speaker and Rajya Sabha chairman that these are bills prepared by farmers of the country. Main opposition parties and some NDA supporters have also stamped their support for the bills on April 25 and these have been presented to the parliament secretariat as private members’ bills, AIKSCC working group member and Punjab-based farm organisation BKU (Dakonda) organising secretary Darshan Pal said. He added that the bills obligate the government to waive loans of peasants, including landless ones, and agricultural workers.

The second bill obligates the government to regulate and decrease the cost price of farm inputs, including diesel, seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, machinery and equipment, to set up a cost and prices commission in order to assess all cost of production, which shall include computing of paid-up costs, family labour, rent of land, depreciation of capital inputs, interest and insurance costs and to ensure through public and private purchasing agencies that the farmers get a guaranteed MSP and an additional 50%.