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India
13 Jan 2018

RSS-linked farmers' union expresses its demands for 2018 budget

What is the RSS-linked farmers union demanding?

There is about a month left before Modi government would present its last full-fledged budget. As various groups lobby to have their demands accepted, there is one demand which the government might find difficult to ignore.

The RSS-affiliated farmer organization Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) has demanded that the government fix the maximum retail price (MRP) for farm produce.

What are their demands? We explain.

In context

What is the RSS-linked farmers union demanding?
What is the reason for this demand?

Reason

What is the reason for this demand?

But, why is the BKS demanding this?

The BKS claims that the farmer sells tomatoes at Rs. 5/kg. This is sold in mandis (markets) for Rs. 30/kg. By the time it reaches the consumer, it is Rs. 50/kg.

Thus, the farmer doesn't get a profitable price for his produce. He purchases raw materials at maximum price and sells the produce at minimum price.

Demand

Now, what is their demand?

Considering this injustice on the farmers, BKS insists that government should cap the price for all farm produce.

They asserted that government should bring all major crops under the minimum support price (MSP) ambit. Currently, only 23 major crops are under MSP.

MSP is the price fixed by the Indian government to protect the farmers against a sharp fall in prices during bumper production.

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Significance

What is the significance of this demand?

Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh conceded that farmers don't receive the benefit of their own produce.

Reportedly, over the years, farmers' income have either declined or remained stagnant. In 2017, farmers' protests were observed across states like TN, Maharashtra, UP, etc. Government's figures indicate that over 12,000 farmer suicides were reported every year since 2013.

It is about time that corrective action is taken.

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