CITU DENOUNCES RETROGRADE ORDINANCE RAJ OF MODI GOVT IN THE NAME OF DISASTROUS AGRICULTURAL REFORMS – KILLING ENTITLEMENTS OF MAJORITY OF THE AGRARIAN POPULACE

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the hasty move of the BJP Govt at the centre engineering  retrograde changes in agriculture-economy in the name of reforms through Ordinance route with the sole intention of benefitting handful of big-landlords and corporate agri-business (both foreign and domestic) clique at the cost of overwhelming majority of the agricultural populace- the small and marginal farmers and the agri-workers in particular. All talks of benefiting and empowerment of farmers to benefit out of freedom of trade is nothing but a fraud on the people. Moreover this is going to severely abrogate the rights of state governments to regulate and intervene in the agrarian economy.

The Cabinet decision to promulgate the 'Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020' in the name of complete deregulation of trade on agricultural produce would finally mean that the produce would be purchased without auctions and regulatory supervision by the concerned authority; it would actually mean that sale of the agri-produce will be through bilateral grossly unequal negotiations between large landlord-corporate traders clique on the one side and poor peasants on the other. Such a system would be inherently biased against the interests of majority of the farmers. It is going to facilitate the handful of those in landlord-corporate-business clique to squeeze and exploit more the overwhelming majority of the agricultural populace. This structural change in the agri-trade regime will pave the way for ultimately ending the Govt responsibility of ensuring remunerative prices of the agri-produce and related arrangement of procurement etc— complete facilitation for looting the mass of the farmers by the landlord-corporate clique.

Similarly, the ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020’ is going to permanently empower again the big-landlord-agri-business lobby to squeeze and exploit the mass of the small and marginal farmers putting them under continuing distress and thereby continue the stranglehold of the landlord-agri-business clique on the farming population.  The claims that it will empower the farmers by removing all restrictions, and ensure them a level playing field are all bogus and baseless. Amendments to the Essential Commodities Act removing commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities and removing all restrictions and limits on storage and building stock will promote hoarding and patronize speculation and black-marketing, to facilitate and empower the ultra-rich class in the agricultural economy. It is a positive threat to country’s food security.

The entire exercise is aimed at total structural change in the management of the agricultural economy through a process of complete abdication of governance responsibility to ensure basic rights of the farmers for a humane living on the one hand and towards land concentration and consolidation with the handful of landlord-traders clique and promotion of contract farming as well lease of farm land by corporate companies. This is also an exercise of bartering food-security of the people and humane entitlement of the majority of the agricultural populace with the interest of profiteering and speculative trade at the altar of handful of ultra-rich class of the big-corporate-landlord regime. 

CITU calls upon the working class to oppose and protest such nefarious anti-people, anti-farmer machinations of the Modi Govt and join hands with the peasants and agri-workers’ organization to unitedly fight, defy and resist.

( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

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