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Press Release- Gujarat Farmers committing suicides and Govt having Vibrant Gujarat Summit

Sanyukt Khedut Sangharsh Samiti

C/o Khet Bhavan, Near Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad 380 027

 

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PRESSNOTE

 

Stop the Vibrant tamashas on the back of farmers’ corpses; we will not let it happen

We do not want hundreds of thousands of FDI; we want fair prices for our produce

 

The Government of Gujarat is going to spend crores or rupees on the Vibrant Gujarat summits, at a time when cotton and groundnut farmers of Gujarat are forced to commit suicide on account of high input costs and low market yield for their produce.

In the race to welcome the big corporate with red carpet there has been no concern for the 48000 small and medium enterprises that were closed down. The instances of farmer suicides from village Dharai near Chotila and village Fatehpur near Patdi are fresh in our memory.

The GOG has neither money nor words of comfort to offer to these distraught families. Rather, one MP from Maharashtra said, “if farmers are committing suicides then let them”. It is not a question of one particular MP, but rather the mentality of the political class as a whole. In the changed politico-economic environment, the political class considers backing the large corporates as profitable; the agricultural sector which employs, even today, nearly 70% of the work force and which provides the food security for the nation is not a priority for them. While the other states are giving bonus (over and above the MSP declared by the central government) to encourage the farmers to produce more, the GoG is merely indulging in cheating the farmers. In the name of ‘package’ it is only playing for time and frustrating the farmers. On the one hand the GoG claims that it does not have the wherewithal to give the farmers fair prices, while on the other it is wasting crores of rupees on the Vibrant Gujarat tamashas. When money flows freely for the welcome, hospitality and entertainment of the foreign delegates, then why not to give us what is duly ours?

 

We, the farmer organizations of Gujarat, demand (from the GoG) that:

 

1.         Immediately declare Rs. 1200 per 20 kg. for cotton and Rs. 1000 per 20 kg. for groundnut as MSP for Gujarat farmers. For the farmers that have already sold their produce announce a bonus of Rs. 200 per 20 kg.

2.         Make legal provisions for public auction at a price above the MSP henceforth.

3.         Increase the electricity quota for farmers and provide regular power supply of 12 hours daily. Allow the farmer to use the motors at the source of water (within the limits of horsepower).

4.         Make arrangements to expedite the crop insurance claims by 31st October every year.

5.         Declare ‘drought’ in all areas with deficient rainfall by 30th August and offer all benefits of ‘drought affected’ areas to them

6.         Issue a timetable for Narmada water

7.         Repeal a patently anti-farmer Act like the SIR Act 2009.

8.         Repeal the “Irrigation and Drainage Act 2103” immediately

9.         Give a written assurance of not de-commanding the Narmada command area

10.     Issue a timetable for providing, on a priority basis, the 300,000 pending electricity connections

11.     Declare the Agricultural policy of the GoG

12.     Declare a permanent policy of compensation on account of the unjust policies of the GoG

13.     Price control on seed-fertilizer-pesticides and arrangement of timely and regular availability of the same

14.     Under a new promulgation, give land to those whose land is under measured according to the measurement of 7/12 records and those whose land is over-measured then regularize it

15.     Farm loans against the 75% of the produce at low interest rates

 

If the above mentioned issues are not responded to in writing by the GOG by 7th January 2015, if our demands are not met, then all farmer associations/organizations of Gujarat will decide our future programmes jointly.

 

We are determined that we will not allow the government to ‘celebrate’ the Vibrant tamashas on the back of the corpses of our farmer brethren. We, the farmers, in the thousands, will march to Mahatma Mandir and stop the Vibrant tamasha.

 

Saurashtra Khedut Ladat Samiti                                                                     Khedut Samaj Gujarat

Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha

 

Jamnagar Jilla Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti

Junagadh Jilla Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti

Amreli Jilla Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti

Morbi Jilla Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti

Devbhumi Dwarka Jilla Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti

Botad Jilla Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti

Bhavnagar Jilla Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti

Surendranagar Jilla Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti

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