Prioritise farmers’ issues before pay panel award: Activist

Mumbai, Nov 30 (IANS) The Centre must prioritise the issue of farmers’ plight before implementing the proposed 7th Pay Commission recommendations for government employees, noted farmers activist Kishore Tiwari said here on Monday.

“Through the 7th Pay Commission, the Centre will incur an additional burn of Rs.100,000-crore on the exchequer, while the farmers’ issues can be resolved at barely half this amount,” Tiwari, the chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM), told IANS.

“I have requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prioritise the farmers’ problems as they comprise 65 percent of the country’s population and provide food for 100 percent of the people,” he said.

He said it was ironical that the bureaucracy gets a regular pay hike, but the farmers are denied aid even during critical times, driving them to commit suicide.

“We have demanded that the government must first implement the recommendations of the M.S. Swamanithan Report that includes fixing support price for crops based in input costs and factoring a 50 percent profit, increasing farm loan cover to remove gullible farmers from the clutches of the rural moneylenders,” Tiwari said.

He alleged that instead of catering to the basic needs of the farming community, “the new BJP government appears keen to cultivate the bureaucracy in its favour” and rewarding them with an unnecessary pay hike.

Ironically, the bureaucrats — some at the lower levels will draw in excess of Rs.50,000 per month — are the very same who avoid going to serve the rural masses and create hurdles in implementing farmer-friendly policies, claimed Tiwari.


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