Giving APMCs access to agriculture infrastructure fund an empty gesture: Samyukt Kisan Morcha

Express News Service
CHANDIGARH: Terming the Centre’s announcement regarding Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) as another ‘jumla’ (rhetoric), the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Friday said farmers did not need more loans but freedom from indebtedness.

“The Union government is notorious for the jumlas it spins using a web of outright false claims and exaggerated numbers, which grab the day’s headlines and mislead the public. A minor and insignificant decision about some guidelines change in the scheme, which now allows APMCs to access a financing facility under the AIF, was presented as Rs 1 lakh crore allocation to APMCs. What farmers or their collectives need are not more loans, but freedom from indebtedness. And they need a legally guaranteed remunerative price for their market interfaces,” said a statement by SKM.

The government had said on Thursday that APMCs will have access to Rs 1 lakh crore allocated to the AIF. The Morcha asked the government to “stop its jumlas”, repeal the three “anti-farmer laws” immediately and enact a new one to guarantee remunerative MSP for all commodities.

The SKM stated that the Rs 1 lakh crore reference is highly misleading because there has been “no allocation of even a thousand crore rupees from the government”. “It has merely created a new head under which loans can be accessed from banks. The actual financing is dependent on commercial banks, and India’s story of banking sector mismanagement and collusions with big capitalists is well-known,” the statement said. “In the six months when the three farm laws were in operation before the Supreme Court suspended them, the trade in most APMC markets collapsed by almost half and their revenues dropped drastically,” the statement alleged.