Government should take immediate steps to pacify the farmers by accepting their legitimate demands
NEW DELHI — The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has condemned government’s inept handling of the farmers’ agitation in the country and demanded that the government should take immediate steps to pacify the farmers by accepting their legitimate demands.
In a press note, Secretary General of the Jamaat, Muhammad Salim Engineer said: “We are appalled by the manner in which the farmers agitation has been handled in the BJP governed states of Maharashtra, MP, Rajasthan and Haryana. The death of 5 farmers in police firing in Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh) is particularly condemnable. It seems that the governments in these states have been busy in implementing their divisive and polarizing agenda while totally ignoring the core issues of governance including the long standing problems of the farmers. Meanwhile we also appeal to the farmer community to avoid resorting to violence and to protest in a peaceful manner”.
Explaining the farmers’ crisis Salim Engineer said: “After two years of successive drought, last year the rainfall was normal resulting in a bumper harvest. However a short-sighted import policy saw a glut in the market with the farmers not getting their promised Minimum Support Price (MSP). Adding to the farmers’ woes was the cash crunch because of demonetization and the farmers were left high and dry with no money in the market and government not ready to buy their produce at a reasonable price. Thus the farmers were left with no choice but to protest against the government policies’’.
Jamaat has always demanded interest-free loans to farmers. The government must take this demand seriously and ensure that farmers do not get caught in the web of money-lenders. In the short term the MSP must be increased preferably at 50% over and above the cost to farmers. Partial or complete loan waiver should be implemented. In the long term, irrigation projects must help farmers to overcome the vagaries of a weak monsoon. Warehouse and storage facilities must be expanded and a market mechanism should be evolved that facilitates the farmer to reach the consumer directly without the intervention of middlemen or merchants who grab the lion’s share of their profits, Salim Engineer said.