People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 02

January 09, 2011


Draft Resolution on Natural Calamities


THE All India Kisan Council meeting, held at Kolkata from December 28 to 30, 2010 expresses its solidarity with the distress-stricken peasants of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Orissa who have been reeling under extreme drought and floods that have hit their states over the last few months in quick succession. In Orissa, nearly 60 per cent of the state was affected by drought earlier, and the recent floods, which affected the state, have totally devastated the paddy crop that was nearing harvest. The Orissa government has not lived up to the expectations of the peasantry and has announced a very meagre compensation for the losses. In Andhra Pradesh, 25 lakh hectares of land was affected. The compensation announced by the Andhra Pradesh government is a pittance and does not cover even 10 per cent of the costs incurred by the farmers. Also, about 106 people have lost their lives in the state. In Tamilnadu, more than 15 districts were seriously affected and about 15 lakh acres of standing crops were damaged. Here too the state government has only announced a meagre token compensation which is not commensurate to the losses suffered by the peasantry. The Congress-led UPA government has turned a blind eye and has been taking a very callous approach despite a tragedy of such a huge magnitude.


We express solidarity with the peasantry in the drought-hit districts of West Bengal. In West Bengal, 11 districts have been reeling under extreme drought conditions. The state government has made its best efforts for mitigating the suffering of the peasantry and a central team has recommended Rs 736 crore as relief. Unfortunately, the UPA government has not released a single rupee to the State due to its ulterior political motives.


In many states in North India, the farmers suffer huge losses due to frost. Unfortunately, there is no proper accounting of these losses and frost is not treated as a natural calamity. This is despite the repeated representations to the central government. This AIKC expresses solidarity with the farmers in these regions and resolves to pursue the demand to treat frost as a natural calamity more intensively.


The 13th Finance Commission in July 2009 had recommended that the central government should bear 90 per cent of the compensation and states should bear the remaining 10 per cent. The National Disaster Management Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs has to intervene more effectively and draft contingency plans to tackle the problems arising out of natural calamities on a war-footing.


The AIKS demands

1) The central government declare the recent spate of floods in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Tamilnadu as a national calamity and provide compensation on an immediate basis. The central government must immediately release the Rs 736 crore as drought relief to West Bengal.

2) The government of India should release the relief amount commensurate to demands of respective states in a time-bound manner.

3) The compensation must be at least Rs 25,000 per hectare for unirrigated paddy land, Rs 50,000 per hectare for irrigated paddy land and Rs 60,000 for a hectare of perennial crops.

4) A provision of Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia for the families of the deceased and an appropriate compensation for the loss of livestock.

5) The sharecropper/tenant farmer should be recognised as a peasant and be compensated for the losses suffered.

6) A complete waiver of loans taken by the farmers during the last one year.

7) Interest free loan and subsidised inputs for the Rabi season.

8) The governments must procure paddy without using the Fair Average Quality (FAQ) argument to deprive the peasants of fair prices.

9) Employment opportunities for every employable adult at least for 200 days in a year and ensure food security for all.

1) Treat frost as a natural calamity and compensate farmers for the losses suffered.