Tribune News Service
Patiala, February 13
Farmers associated with the Kul Hind Kisan Sangharsh Talmel Committee today condemned the Central Government’s yearly finance Budget and burnt the copies of the annual Budget outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Patiala.
Activists associated with the Bhartiya Kisan union (Dakaunda), Krantikari Kisan Union, Punjab, Jamoohri Kisan Sabha and Kisan Sabha Punjab got together and raised slogans against the Centre during the protest.
They said the Budget pushed the farming sector towards privatisation, and was aimed at ignoring the purchase of crop by the government. They added that it brought no relief to farmers and peasants who were dying of suicides.
The protestors raised slogans demanding reduction in the cost of diesel, seeds, fertilizers, cooking gas, electricity and peasant loan waiver instead of the corporate sector. They also demanded that the government should ensure procurement of paddy from all peasants at 1.5 times the cost of production and stop corporate control of mandis.
The farmers raised concern that the total expenditure for agriculture, irrigation and rural development in the fiscal budget was raised by only 5.6 per cent from 2.68 lakh crores, which is less than the cost of inflation. They said food subsidy had been reduced from Rs 1.84 lakh crores to Rs 1.15 lakh crores, fertilizer subsidy has also been reduced from Rs 79,000 crore to Rs 71,000 crore.
“There is a proposal to reduce FCI stock from 75 mt to 35 mt and raise the issue price of food in PDS. Ayushman Bharat funds have been reduced and there is no hike in insurance budget where companies have earned a windfall of Rs 18,830 crores in years under PMFBY”, state general secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) Jagmohan Singh said.
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