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84% Indian farmers indebted today: Sainath

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Jaipur, Mar 1 (UNI) A staggering 84 per cent farmer households in India are indebted today indicating that the rural economy has completely collapsed due to fake globalisation, said P Sainath, eminent journalist and author, at a convention.

While speaking at the National Political Convention of Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) on 'Right to Life in the Era of Globalisation' here, he said the budget 2006-7 is in favour of fake globalisation and echoes the same thoughts as that of previous regime, whose 'India Shining' campaign was rejected outright by the electorate in 2004 polls.

He reiterated this Budget firmly establishes that those running the show cannot comprehend the relation between increasing inequality in society and progress.

He said in 1991 when globalisation became the byword, the average food consumed by a person was 510 gm per day, while today it has come down to 436 g per day.

He said thousands of farmesr in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have committed suicide due to the new economic policy and most have not received any compensation for their land as they are not registered as farmers. Many women farmers have not recived compensation as the land was registered in the husband's name who was a farmer and committed suicide.

He said eight years ago, a farmer in Warangal with eight acres of land was well-off, today that same farmer with same piece of land is below poverty line, mainly because of globalisation.

Today if a farmer buys 1000 packets of cotton hybrid seed, it's indicated on the labels, that there is gurantee for only 600 packets. This is drastically effecting farmers.

He said today the average per capita expenditure of Indian farmer's household is Rs 503 while in states like Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa, it is Rs 400, even below the rural poverty line of Rs 425.

One out of every five Indian has given up seeking medical treatment as they simply cannot afford it, Sainath said, adding ''health is the second fastest route to death for Indian farmers.'' In the government launched Rojgar Gurantee Scheme, around eight hundred thousand unemployed people applied in Maharashtra alone. But a survey done in October-November 2005, says that over 70,000 people in India are millionaires in terms of dollars while there are over 300 billionaires in terms of rupees.

UNI RRT ARB PC1610

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