Wednesday, 5 October, 2022
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RSS’ farm affiliate BKS demands Modi govt must roll back ‘free import of pulses’ order

BKS says these pulses are to be sown in kharif season beginning soon, and if farmers are worried about low prices due to imports, it’ll affect govt’s ‘atmanirbhar’ push.

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New Delhi: Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), the farmers’ union affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has demanded that the Narendra Modi-led central government must immediately roll back an order related to the import of pulses, issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Saturday.

The ministry, after a three-year gap, revised the pulses import policy to allow free import of tur (arhar), urad and moong dals up to 31 October 2021. The decision came weeks before farmers are set to begin sowing for the kharif season.

The BKS has argued that the pulses designated for import till October are all sown in the kharif season, and the government’s order will be counterproductive to the government’s stated goal of self-reliance (atmanirbharta) in the farm sector. The body said farmers will expect lower prices for their kharif pulses, and won’t sow as much as in previous years, impacting production.

Badri Narayan Chaudhary, general secretary of the BKS, said Wednesday: “After years of hard work, the farmers of our country have finally started producing pulses to match the demand of the country. However, this decision will disrupt sowing and production of pulses in the country, hampering the ‘atmanirbhar’ goal of the central government.

Chaudhary added: “It seems there is no coordination between the ministries of commerce and agriculture on ensuring the welfare of farmers. They have to coordinate better.”


Also read: Modi govt plans to procure more pulses this year to guard against inflation & help farmers


Reduce fertiliser prices, waive Covid-dead farmers’ loans

The BKS also urged the central government, specifically the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, to reduce the prices of non-urea DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) fertilisers to their previous levels before kharif sowing, because farmers have already suffered losses due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

“The price of a 50 kg bag of DAP fertiliser has already increased from Rs 1,200 per bag to Rs 1,900 per bag. Moreover, the per-tonne prices have increased from Rs 24,000 per metric tonne to Rs 31,000, causing great losses to farmers in such difficult circumstances,” Chaudhary said.

“Despite the government’s announcement that the fertilisers will be sold to farmers at old rates, retailers are selling them at increased prices, saying the companies have increased their product prices. To avoid such exploitation of farmers, the government should make it clear that fertiliser will be sold at old rates, and should strictly ask the companies to follow this,” the BKS general secretary added.

The RSS affiliate also demanded that if a farmer who has taken a loan through a Kisan Credit Card dies due to Covid-19, his loan should be waived in totality. It has also asked the Centre to extend interest relaxation on timely payment of loans related to Kisan Credit Cards till the pandemic gets over.

(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)


Also read: Onion prices could make you cry again, a surge is expected before Diwali


 

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