Sunday, January 29, 2023

RSS’ farmer body holds protest rally in Delhi

Thousands of farmers held a rally here on Monday under the banner of RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) to press for a rollback of GST on agricultural goods and other demands and threatened to intensify their protest if these are not met.
Braving cold conditions, the farmers travelled to Delhi from several states, including Punjab, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, on tractors, motorcycles and private buses and participated in the ‘Kisan Garjana’ rally at the Ramleela Ground to seek relief measures, the organisers said.
The protesters were demanding a rollback of GST on farming activities, an increase in the income support provided under the PM-Kisan scheme, revocation of the permission for commercial production of genetically modified (GM) crops and remunerative prices for their produce based on the input cost, they said.
Launched in December 2018, income support of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments is provided to all land-holding farmer families under the PM-Kisan scheme.
The BKS, in a statement, said “state and central governments will face trouble if they do not heed the farmers’ demand in time”.
National General Secretary, BKS, Mohini Mohan said: “The promises made by the prime minister regarding the rights of farmers have proved to be empty.”
“The government promised an increase in the income of farmers, but this could not happen. Farmers are not beggars, they have the right to remunerative prices for their crops,” he said.
Mohan said the world’s largest farmers’ organisation “will roar and be vocal” if the government does not wake up in time. Narendra Patidar from Madhya Pradesh’s Indore said GST on farm machinery and pesticides should be removed.
“With the rising input cost and inflation, we don’t make any profit. The government should pay attention to our problems. GST shouldn’t be imposed on dairy farming either.How can someone run a family on Rs 6,000 or Rs 12,000 in the current situation?” he said. The farmers told PTI they will intensify the protest if the government does not meet their demands within three months.
“GST on farm machinery, pesticides and fertilisers should be removed. They have even imposed a five percent tax on dairy farming for no reason. The Rs 6,000 under Kisan Samman Nidhi are nothing but disrespect to farmers. It should be at least Rs 15,000,” said Dilip Kumar, another farmer from Madhya Pradesh.
Pramod from Maharashtra’s Raigad said the government imposes GST on farmers and provides subsidies to companies.

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