27 September 2021

PBKMS and SMS take to the streets to enforce the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha

Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity (PBKMS) and Shramajivee Mahila Samity (SMS) have been at the forefront in campaigning against the ‘anti-people' farm legislation brought in by the current political dispensation at the centre. The scant regard for the opposing views on the provisions of the legislation has led to their ratification without proper debates and discussions in both houses of the parliament. The definite tilt of the legislations towards corporatization of the Indian agriculture sector spells doom for the small and marginal farmers. A calculated omission of the minimum support price mechanism along with the intention of dismantling the Agricultural Produce Market Committee(s) exposes the vulnerable agricultural households to fluctuating market prices. Contract farming provisions disregard the in-equal power relations between a small farmer and a corporate entity which may often result in exploitation of the former due to virtually non-existent monitoring mechanisms. The impact on food security will also be massive with the farm legislations foretelling the gradual retreat of the state from ensuring food security of the nation through the public distribution system. The latest amendments carried out in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 removes the restrictions on stocking of certain essential commodities which may certainly lead to hoarding and increase in retail prices of such commodities with a direct impact on the food basket of vulnerable households. 

Hence, on comprehending the ‘pro-corporate bias in the recently ratified farm legislations we have begun our struggle against their forceful imposition without taking into consideration the concerns raised by our farmers. On every call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha and farmers’ associations, we have expressed our solidarity with the cause and planned as well as executed campaigns along with other civil society organizations across West Bengal.

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