SKM leader and AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah said that the announcement of repeal of farm laws is a big victory. (File photo: ANI)
NEW DELHI: On a day the Union cabinet approved a bill to repeal the three controversial farm laws passed last year, before they are tabled in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), a constituent of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), released a ‘Note on Minimum Support Price’ explaining why the farmers’ agitation will continue.
The farmers’ leaders said their movement that has been continuing since November 26, 2020, mostly at the Delhi borders is unlikely to end with the Centre’s move to repeal the three farm laws, unless there are clear signs of the government being serious about talking to them on the issues raised by the SKM. “We have written a letter to the prime minister. We are waiting for a response from the government by November 26, when we will partially celebrate a victory (for the withdrawal of the farm laws) and partially take our movement ahead for the MSP,” said AIKS secretary and former CPM MP Hannan Mollah.
“The SKM has called a meeting on November 27, where we will take a call on which way the movement will go… that will depend on whether the government invites us for serious talks,” said Mollah.
He added the MSP has to do with the present crisis, while the farm laws were a problem for the future, which has been resolved by repealing them.
Mollah mentioned how despite the Union Cabinet’s decision to pass the bill repealing the farm laws, there was no visible “change of heart” in the government. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised in at least 200 public meetings during his election campaign in 2014 that he would pass legislation guaranteeing MSP for the farmers. It is hard to believe this man,” he said.
AIKS president Ashok Dhawale highlighted how “from day one of the struggle of farmers against the farm laws, the demand for a law guaranteeing the MSP had been repeatedly asserted”. “This struggle was never just about the repeal of the black laws. The main problem (MSP) is yet to be solved,” he said.
Dhawale stressed that the SKM’s ‘Mission UP’ and ‘Mission Uttrakhand’ would proceed as planned. The note, itself subtitled “Mission UP - Defeat Anti-farmer BJP”, points out the trends of prices, at which most farmers sell their produce.
“The CACP (The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices) takes into account A2+FL (cost of inputs + family labour costs) as the cost of production, which is much lesser than C2 (cost calculation that also includes interests on capital and rent of land) costs. Further, there is a significant difference between the CACP’s projection of C2 and the projection of the same by different states,” the note explained.
Citing an example, it mentions that for paddy, while a state government projects a C2 cost of Rs 2,114 per quintal, the CACP only calculates Rs 1,559 per quintal. “It is no wonder then, that CACP thinks that the paddy MSP for Kharif Marketing Season 2021-22, Rs 1,940, is remunerative,” it added.