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Farmer’s protest at finance ministry

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

According to30th November statement from Central Statistics Office, agriculture sector output decelerated to 1.7% in September quarter from 2.3% in the June quarter due to unfavourable kharif output.Therefore, on Tuesday farmers made a protest outside the finance ministry urging finance minister Arun Jaitley to statutorily ensure income security for them and simultaneously take steps to reduce input costs and thereby make farming profitable.

Secretary General of CIFA told reporters, “The median agriculture income is about Rs 1,600 per month. No family can sustain with this even in the remotest part of the country.Hence the farming community of India demands an Income Security Act for farmers, tenant farmers and farm labourers.There is a big difference between the price that a farmer gets and the price that the final consumer pays. Unless you protect the farm sector with an income security law,the nation’s food security cannot be ensured”

The rural distress,arising due to a combination of the collapse of global commodity prices after 2009 and three years of drought,has squeezed demand impacting the bottomline of corporate India-especially those operating in consumer goods.

Agriculture economist Ashok Gulati, who attended the meeting,said that the government has been requested to take steps to prevent prices of commodities falling below the minimum support price (MSP) and to link it with the customs tariff so that imports do not become cheaper than domestic produce.

CIFA sought income tax breaks for producer companies-entities doing activities relatable to farming,Removal of all restrictions on stocking farm produce under Essential Commodities Act and no goods and service tax(GST) on items used in agriculture such as fertilizers,pesticides,tractors and harvesting and irrigation equipment.

An official statement from ministry said that according to Jaitley in order to achieve the goal of doubling farmer income by 2022,there is a need for better storage and marketing facilities for farm produce.Later he met trade union groups and assured them that the government was fully committed to safeguard the interests of the workers,especially those in the micro,small and medium,enterprises and the unorganized sector.

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