Thousands of farmers from several states, including Punjab, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, reached Delhi on tractors, motorcycles and buses
Farmers during the 'Kisan Garjana' rally, organised by Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), at Ramleela Maidan in New Delhi. Pic/PTI
An RSS-affiliated farmers' body held a 'Kisan Garjana' rally at Ramleela Ground on Monday and warned that the states and the BJP-led central government will face trouble if their demands are not met in time.
Thousands of farmers from several states, including Punjab, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, reached Delhi on tractors, motorcycles and buses braving extreme cold to take part in the rally organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS).
They seek relief measures from the government, including a rollback of GST on farming activities and an increase in the income support provided under the PM-Kisan scheme, a BKS member said.
A note issued by the BKS said "state and central governments will face trouble if they do not heed the farmers' demand in time".
The farmers have also called for revocation of the permission for commercial production of genetically modified crops and remunerative prices for their produce based on the input cost.
Launched in December 2018, an income support of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments is provided to all land holding farmer families under the PM-Kisan scheme.
Narendra Patidar from Madhya Pradesh's Indore said GST on farm machinery and pesticides should be removed.
"With the rising input cost and inflation, we don't make any profit. The government should pay attention to our problems. GST shouldn't be imposed on dairy farming either," he said.
"Even the pension (income support under PM-Kisan) they are providing is not enough. How can someone run a family on Rs 6,000 or Rs 12,000 in the current situation?" he said.
Several farmers told PTI they will intensify the protest if the government did not meet their demands within three months.
Dilip Kumar, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh demanded that the GST on farm machinery, pesticides and fertilisers should be removed.
The government has even imposed a 5 per cent tax on dairy farming for no reason. Moreover, Rs 6,000 under Kisan Samman Nidhi is nothing but a disrespect to farmers. It should be at least Rs 15,000, he said.
Pramod from Maharashtra's Raigad accused the government of imposing GST on farmers and providing subsidies to companies.
"They even charge GST on seeds. At least something should be done about it (GST). The pension that they provide is a joke. How can one sustain their family with just Rs 6,000? (Union Agriculture Minister) Narendra Tomar has said it will be increased to Rs 12,000 but even that is not enough," he said.
Meanwhile, Surendra Singh from Punjab's Firozpur claimed that the government did not provide the last two installments under the PM-Kisan scheme.
"Pension should not only be increased to Rs 15,000 but should also be disbursed on time. Farmers are also skilled labourers, that minimum respect should be given to us," he said.
Ajay Bondre, a farmer from Nagpur said earlier, a protest was undertaken against genetically modified seeds, but the government didn't listen to their demand.
Researches in other countries say that GM seeds will be harmful not just for us but also for our future generations. Until and unless we are provided research details on it and get some proof that it is reliable, we are not ready to use GM seeds at all, he said.
Farmers have been opposing GM crops for a very long time but the government is not paying any heed, he added.
Kanchan Roy from Uttar Dinajpur, West Bengal said several people have quit farming because they cannot bear the costs involved.
They have been migrating from West Bengal to Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh. Does the government realise how inflation is rising across the country and it still wants us to settle with just Rs 6,000-12,000, he said.
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