People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 11, 2007
Farmers Issues Not Addressed: AIKS
The following is the text of the statement issued by the AIKS on union budget 2007-08
THE union budget 2007-2008 comes as a disappointment to the peasantry at large, rural poor in particular. Though the finance minister spent a lot of time about the problems of agriculture and the peasantry, he has not addressed the real issues at all.
He has done nothing tangible to give a quantum boost to the production of foodgrains, the prices of which have gone up the most, according to the Economic Survey. He has not even made any agricultural policy announcement or how he will protect the farmers from the crisis, though the recommendations of Dr Swaminathan Commission are pending with the government for a long time. The farmers’ main issues – remunerative prices for their crops, increasing input costs etc – have not been addressed at all by the finance minister. Instead some concessions were announced for import of oil seeds/edible oil, which is going to affect the local producers very much.
There is not a word in the budget speech about the reasons for farmers’ suicides. The widespread distress in the farm sector is because farming today is not sustainable, particularly for small and marginal farmers. In this situation of crisis, farmers were waiting for a just, fair and equitable agriculture policy.
The budget while ignoring the small and marginal farmers, who form the bulk of 22.7 crore farmer families, has instead laid out a road map for corporate farming.
The All India Kisan Sabha demands that the finance minsiter should enhance the plan outlay with regard to agriculture substantially. In essence, the budget has not addressed the major issues faced by the peasantry and rural poor.