Farm activists on Tuesday accused the BJP-led central government of trying to cover up the agrarian crisis in the country which they said was caused due to its "flawed policies and inaction" with propaganda.
A bunch of non-government organisations along with Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India released what they called a "green paper" on farmers, farming and the rural economy, to highlight farmers' plight and expose what they dubbed the government's "false claims".
स्वराज इंडिया ने देश में पहली बार जारी किया "ग्रीन पेपर"। यह पेपर पिछले 4 साल में खेती-किसानी समेत ग्रामीण अर्थव्यवस्था को लेकर मोदी सरकार द्वारा किये जा रहे दावे और हकीक़त का फासला बताता है। मौजूदा कृषि संकट सरकार के किसान विरोधी नीतियों का परिणाम है।#GreenPaper pic.twitter.com/UVrRyX86mM— Swaraj India (@_SwarajIndia) January 30, 2018
Yogendra Yadav listed out a dozen reasons for terming it as anti-farmer, including the failure of the central government to double the farmers' income, provide price protection to farm produce and taking the lead in providing debt relief.
"The Economic Survey 2018 has confirmed what farmers have clearly experienced in the NDA regime. The Modi government has been exposed by the Survey, which is a government document," he said.
Yadav explained that for 17 crops, the net returns at MSP during the NDA government's tenure were significantly lower than they were during the UPA-II years. "This makes the betrayal of (the) promise made by Mr Modi all the more blatant, because the crux of his argument was that the net returns of farmers were low during UPA and needed to be raised significantly," he said.
"We are not saying that the previous governments did anything good for farmers but the present government is actually bringing them down. However, it is busy in showing off, indulging in publicity, and betraying the promises it made to farmers. It is the most anti-farmer government since independence."
Terming the reasons for crisis as 12 "major blunders" of the government, Yadav noted how it failed on its promise of revising MSP on the cost plus 50% formula and how it did not even maintain public investment in agriculture at existing levels.
The farmer groups also placed a charter of 10 demands before the Finance Minister, who is presenting the Union Budget on Thursday. They include better MSP for all crops, an agricultural debt relief package of ₹2,00,000 crore, constitution of a permanent statutory Farmers' Income Commission and setting up of disaster mitigation fund of ₹25,000 crore.
OneIndia News (with agency inputs)