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Last Updated : Jul 06, 2018 03:58 PM IST | Source:

Here's why farmers are starting all-India rally from Mandsaur

Bharatiya Kisan Union, Hardik Patel's Patidar Andolan Samiti and Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti will be coming together to protest against the death of seven farmers in Madhya Pradesh.

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Farmers across the country are starting an all-India rally from Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh on July 6, a year and a month after the firing incident that killed seven farmers in the state.

The rally is drawing support from farmer associations including Bharatiya Kisan Union, Hardik Patel's Patidar Andolan Samiti and Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti.

"The first phase of a national stir of farmers will be launched from Mandsaur," Raju Shetty of Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan of Maharashtra had said earlier in Bhopal.

Leaders from various associations will first pay homage to farmers who lost their life in the firing incident, following which the rally will move to Indore and then towards Maharashtra. Farmers will then travel to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and will gather at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on July 18.

As farmers across India commence their protest, here are their major demands: 

Loan waiver

Farmers have been consistently demanding a one-time unconditional complete loan waiver, which gained impetus after the recent announcements of loan waivers in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

Economists and bankers, however, argue against the complete loan waiver stating that they encourage credit indiscipline.

Dwindling profits

Farmers have claimed that they have not been getting proper price for some of the produce such as tur and onion because of low minimum support price (MSP) and high exports of these items.

A loss in profit puts farmers in a debt-cycle as they end up borrowing capital from banks before the sowing season for seeds, equipment and fertilisers in a hope to repay loans from the profit they earn.

Implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations

Farmers have been demanding that the government implement the recommendations of the National Commission on Farmers, which was headed by MS Swaminathan, who is known for his pioneering role in India’s Green Revolution.

The key recommendation was that MSP be set at cost plus 50 percent. For instance, if the cost of production is Rs 100, MSP should be set at Rs 150.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in February, while presenting his fourth budget had announced that the government had decided to set MSP at 1.5 times the cost of production. However, farmer associations claim that the formula used for calculating the MSP was different and thereby the proposed MSP was still lower than the one recommended by the Swaminathan Commission.
First Published on Jul 6, 2018 10:13 am
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