Tribune News Service
Bathinda, February 13
Farmers from different unions under the banner of Kul Hind Kisan Sabha on Thursday staged a protest against the Union Government and burnt copies of the Union Budget announced recently. A large number of farmers gathered at the Ambedkar Park and raised slogans against the government, demanding fulfilment of their long-standing demands.
The protesting farmers said the Union Budget did not consider the plight of the agriculture sector and meted out step-motherly treatment to it. They said the Budget was clearly aimed at providing direct benefits to the corporate sector and the agriculture sector, which is the mainstay of the nation’s economy and the GDP, had been ignored completely.
Addressing a gathering of protesters, Balkaran Brar, president of the union, said, “In such a scenario, farmers with large land holdings would be able to manage things. But marginal farmers and others with small and medium land holdings would have to bear the brunt. We staged a protest and burnt copies of the the Union Budget on Thursday to express our anger but if the government does not take measures to provide the required support to the agriculture sector, we would be left with no alternative but to intensify our stir in the coming days.”
Talking about the demands, Brar said, “We demand that the government must put in place a proper mechanism to facilitate good payments to farmers for their farm produce. We also demand that the government must start a pension scheme for farmers and provide Rs 10,000 per month to provide adequate support to the farming community. Apart from that, we also demand that the government must cancel cases registered against farmers for burning stubble. The government should find a viable alternative to stubble burning, which could be afforded by marginal and medium farmers and if it failed to do so, it must not use farmers as a sacrificial lamb for its own vested interests citing pollution norm violations.”
He said, “The debt-waiver scheme by the government has proved to be nothing more than a farce as many marginal and medium farmers are still burdened under debt and many of them have committed suicides. We demand that the government must waive loans of farmers soon.”
The farm union members demanded that the government must implement the recommendations of the Dr Swaminathan report to uplift the stature of the ailing agriculture sector.
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