Mahapanchayat demands guaranteed income to farmers
Press Trust of India
New Delhi March 18, 2013
Scores of farmers from across the country gathered at Jantar Mantar here today under the banner of Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (ICCFM) and pressed the government to accept their demand for guaranteed income for peasants.
In a protest termed “Kisan Khet Mazdoor Mahapanchayat”, the ICCFM, a conglomerate of several peasants’ organizations, demanded a law be passed to assure a guaranteed income to farmers, tenants and sharecroppers.
“The average income of a farming household is a mere Rs 1800, not enough to cover basic needs. Even the lowest government employee, a peon, gets about Rs 20,000. How are we expected to survive with this? Farmers should get a guaranteed income like all other government officials,” Rajpal Sharma of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) said.
Nandini Jairam of Karnataka Farmers, Movement (KRRS) said “the government should be directly held accountable for improving the net incomes of farming households…A National Farmers’ Income Guarantee Act should be formulated which will assure a guaranteed income to farmers, tenants and sharecroppers by making farming remunerative.”
Accusing the government of ignoring recomendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on new land bil, activist Medha Patkar demanded the bill be resent to the committee for inclusion of its recommendations and said government should clarify what it was doing with all the land that it had already taken from people.
Rakesh Tikait of BKU said the committee has passed a resolution that farmers will not move from Delhi until they get a serious commitment from UPA government on their demands.