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Farmers’ crisis: Our parliament has time for GST but not for peasants, says P Sainath


New Delhi, Dec 3: Amid the ongoing farmers' crisis, award-winning journalist P Sainath lashed out at the political players saying they did not have time to call a special session of the parliament to focus on the difficulties the countries' farmers are facing at the moment.

Farmers’ crisis: Our parliament has time for GST but not for peasants, says P Sainath

Speaking to The Quint, the veteran journalist, founder of PARI Network, said: "People expect the parliament to work for the people, not just for the corporate world." He said on matters like GST, a joint session can be called virtually on no notice and at midnight but nothing of that sort happens for the farmers' crisis.

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"The first National Commission for Farmers' report, also known as the Swaminathan Commission... the first of those reports were submitted in December 2004, the last of those reports in October 2006. In 14 years, the Indian Parliament has not found time to discuss that report for one hour," Sainath said, adding that a special session of the parliament to discuss the agrarian crisis and related issues is what needed.

He said some three weeks will be required for discussing the farmers' issues. Sainath said there are bills stressing on freedom from indebtedness and MSP and remunerative prices that can be passed in a very short time since 21 political parties have already extended support for them but there are a whole lot of issues that need to be discussed, including the Swaminathan Commission.

Apartments have swimming pools on each floor but agriculture has no water

On water crisis, Sainath was ruthless in his take. He said it is not about drought but "giant water transfers of water" and "senseless utilisation of resources" that need to be tackled. Sainath said big apartments are coming up in Mumbai with plans of setting up a swimming pool on each floor when the agrarian sector is facing serious water crisis. "Where's the justice in this?" Sainath asked in his talk with The Quint. "The construction workers of those swimming pools are dispossessed farmers of their villages who don't have water," Sainath said.

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He also said the crisis has very chance of getting resolved if the rights and welfare of women farmers are not addressed.

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