Nawanshahr:The state farmers are a worried lot following recent reports in a section of media that after the abolition of excise duty on wheat import in the country, big traders have started filling their godowns with such imported wheat due to its low cost.
The farmers are afraid that they would have to struggle a lot in mandis in selling their produce during the forthcoming procurement season as with their stores already full with imported wheat; there would be few buyers from amongst the private traders.
As per reports, more than 25 lakh tonnes of imported wheat have already arrived in the godowns of private traders. Reports say that this wheat cost the traders Rs 1,600 per quintal as against Rs 1,800-2,000 per quintal which the traders have to pay for the locally produced wheat.
State president of Bhartiya Kisan Union Balbir Singh Rajewal in a media statement on Thursday has also criticised the Modi government for it alleged anti-farmer policies. In the statement published in some papers on Thursday, Rajewal has said that after potatoes, wheat would be the next crop which has the potential to ruin the country’s farmers. He has also threatened that various farmers’ organisation of the country would jointly resort to road blockade in the country in case the farmers faced any difficulties in selling their produce. The farmers would be holding a protest in Delhi next month against Modi government for its anti-farmers and procaptalists’policies, Rajewal has said.
District president of Kirti Kisan Union Surinder Bains has also expressed similar views on the issue. He said as imported wheat was costing the traders merely Rs 1,550 per quintal as against MSP of Rs 1,625 per quintal for the local wheat, there was every possibility of traders going for cheap imported wheat. In this scenario, country’s farmers would be the big losers. He said that various farmers’ organisation across the country have already taken cognizance of the seriousness of the issue and are likely to launch a joint stir on it.
Mohinder Singh Dosanjh, a progressive farmer of the district who is also winner of many awards, besides being a member of the Agriculture Research Council of PAU, Ludhiana, too maintained that though he was not aware of the various provisions of GATT agreement concerning farm produce, if media reports in the matter were true, the farmers would really be in great trouble in the coming procurement season.
Dosanjh was further critical of the budgetary proposals which said that they (proposals) would lead to doubling of the income of the country’s farmers. There was nothing in the budget which could help in making the prediction come true, said the progressive farmer who further advocated stopping of all kinds of farm loans to the peasantry without seeking first from them (farmers) their project reports including reports about their skills in that particular project.
“This is a must if farmers are to be prevented from committing suicides,” he said, adding waiving of farmers’ loans was no solution to farmers’ woes as it would be highly detrimental to the country’s economy in the long