(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 28, 2010
Withdraw Anti-Farmer Move, Organisations Demand
statement issued from
The AIKS said the latest move would badly hit the small and marginal farmers who are already finding agriculture unviable and un-remunerative. Already the rural countryside is reeling under skyrocketing prices of essential commodities and falling incomes. The government’s move is clearly aimed at passing the benefits to big players in the fertiliser sector while passing on the burden to the cultivating peasantry. The move would mean an increase of nearly Rs 50 per bag and is bound to adversely impact the production of major crops, especially food grains, and push farmers into further distress. Strongly condemning this anti-farmer move, the All India Kisan Sabha has demanded that the government withdraw the move immediately. The organisation has called upon all its units to rise in protest against this anti-farmer move.
While strongly opposing the government’s decision to increase the urea price by 10 per cent and to deregulate the prices of other fertilisers, the Centre of Indian Trade unions (CITU) has also denounced the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme for phosphatic and potassic fertilisers.
The CITU strongly feels that this decision, coupled with the government’s effort to increase the price of diesel, will destabilise the food security in the country, specially when we are facing severe drought and flood situations in various parts of country and the agricultural productivity has declined. The so-called explanation given in favour of the NBS --- that it will depict the actual demand of the fertilisers in the country and promote their realistic pricing in the internationals market --- is a reprehensible attempt to mislead the people. The CITU says the actual objective of the corporate friendly government is to allow the fertiliser producers to hike the prices of their products to the level of international prices. Deregulation of pricing to attract fresh investment in the fertiliser sector is yet another attempt to disown the responsibility of reviving the closed fertiliser units in the public sector, namely, Durgapur, Haldia (West Bengal), Sindri (Jharkhand), Baruni (Bihar), Talcher (Orissa), Gorakhpur (UP) and Ramagundam (AP) through public investment. This is thus a move to guarantee windfall profits to private players.
The CITU has therefore urged the government to withdraw the disastrous decision forthwith and declare (a) regulation of prices for all types of fertilisers in order to achieve self-sufficiency in fertiliser production and thereby ensure food security in the country and (b) time bound commitment to revive the closed public sector fertiliser units.