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Farmer Agitation | Farmers observe black day widely across India, effigies of Amit Shah, Khattar and Anil Viz burned

Punjab Newsline | Updated on Saturday, February 24, 2024 00:26 AM IST

SKM Welcomes Punjab’s decision of compensation of Rs. 1 Crore and job to sister of young Farmer Martyr Shubhkaran Singh
NEW DELHI: The deep anger among the farmers and workers across India on the murder of the young farmer Shubhkaran Singh at Kannouri border of Punjab by the Haryana Police and the Union Home Ministry under Amit Shah was reflected in wide spread observation of Black Day/ Aakrosh Day on Friday, 23rd February 2024.

Report of effigy burning of Union Minister Amit Shah, Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar and State Home Minister Anil Vij have been received from all the states of India and torch light processions also taking place widely in the villages and towns.Women and youth also have been widely participated in the protest actions.

SKM Welcomes the decision of the Bhagwant Mann Government of Punjab to give Rs 1 crore and one employment to the family of Shubhkaran Singh. This demand was raised by the General Body meeting of the SKm held at Chandigarh on 23rd February 2024. SKM reiterates its demand to the Punjab Govt. to register FIR under section 302 of IPC against the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Haryana CM Khattar, State Home Minister Anil Vij and the police and revenue officers responsible for state repression and death of the farmer and judicial enquiry by a Supreme Court judge into the firing and the damage caused to tractors.

SKM has strongly objected to the reiteration of PM Modi in his one day visit to Gujarat on February 23, that his “focus is on improving the lives of small farmers” and the larger prosperity of the rural economy. The PM, with his typical narcissistic way, added that it is “Modi’s guarantee”.SKM is minutely aware of Modi's guarantee to his corporate sector. For an instance, during Modi rule, tax burden has shifted from corporates to common people, studies indicate that in the last 10 years, “personnel income tax collections increased by 117% while corporate tax collections increased only by 28%”. Modi reduced corporate tax from 30% to 22% in 2019. In the 2021-22 fiscal, Ambani’s Reliance Industries paid only an effective tax rate of 16.5%.

The indices of terms of trade (ToT) - the ratio of the cost of input by farmers and the prices they receive for their output- between farmers and non farmers is lower than 100 means farmers are not making money. ToT were negative in 2004-05, but improved steadily over the next 6-7 years up to 102.95 in 2010-11. Since then, the ToT has turned negative and remained stagnant to 97.07 in 2021-22 means farming is a loss making occupation in the “Amrit Kaal” of Modi.

The recent data on tractor sales in India, an indication for rural economic health-. reveals in the first 9 months of this fiscal witnessed a steep decline in tractor sales. For instance, there is a decline of 33% in Maharashtra , 36% in Telangana and 21% in Karnataka. The jumla on “Doubling of Farmers Income '' is increasingly getting exposed.

As far as the wage of agricultural workers is concerned, RBI data recently reveals the lowest paid wage in the country - Rs.241 per day is in Gujarat. If one anticipates 25 days work is available, which is not the reality- the monthly income is Rs 241x25, Rs. 6025 which is highly inadequate for a five member family to live under the current rate of inflation and price rise. SKM demands, before uttering again “Modi’s Guarantee”, he owes an explanation though he was three times chief minister and two time prime minister of the country, why Gujarat - the state he claims as the model for development- is unable to pay the minimum wage for a dignified life to its rural workers.

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