Holds demonstration in Srinagar, demands waive off agricultural loans
Srinagar May 23: J&K Kisan Tehreek today held a protest demonstration at Press Enclave here, in which hundreds of kisans participated. They demanded pest and disease management, regulation of prices of pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers and waiving off all outstanding agricultural loans.
Addressing the protest demonstration, General Secretary J&K Kisan Tehreek Ghulam Nabi Malik said the present government is pursuing the anti-kisan policies of the BJP led central government and has miserably failed to explore the vast potential of the agriculture and horticulture sectors in the state.
He said that Irrigation department initially this year advised the farmers not to plant paddy crop citing the scarcity of irrigation water but the Agriculture department remained silent on the issue. There is no agriculture policy in the state. Basmati crop was grown by the kisans in Anantnag district but due to lack of marketing facility, they are compelled to sell their produce at least price. He demanded that agriculture produce be exempted from GST.
Malik said that the core sectors of economy agriculture and horticulture have totally been neglected by the successive governments. Despite the fact that ours is an agricultural state and major chunk of population is dependent on this sector. The state being vulnerable to natural calamities, crop insurance scheme was not implemented fully so far that can provide respite to the calamity affected kisans. He demanded waiving off all outstanding agricultural loans. The biggest challenge facing the growers and kisans is the menace of pests and diseases and in absence of any fool proof mechanism to curb the sub-standard and spurious pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers the problems of kisans are further aggravated.
Malik expressed serious concern over the continuous attacks on the livelihood of the vast majority of our people by the policies pursued by this BJP government. The prices of petrol and diesel have skyrocketed, reaching the highest ever levels. Prices of cooking gas have also gone up significantly.
Mohammad Afzal, senior kisan leader while addressing the demonstration said that MG-NREGA job card holders are not being paid wages since last two years which has added miseries to them. Irrigation canals are not de-silted thus kisans are facing problems on account of irrigation. Steps should be taken for utilization of ground water for irrigation purposes during the crop season so that poor kisans will not depend on irrigation canals only. Various BPL households have constructed their latrine points under SMB but they have not paid the amount sofar.
Ab Rashid Keegam, Ghulam Rasool Ganie, Ghulam Ahmad Ganie senior kisan leaders also addressed the demonstration.