Almost two years after laying siege to the nationwide capital, by farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, Delhi borders become a contemporary ‘battlezone’ on Tuesday with Farmers protest 2.0 ‘choking’ town. Farmers, pertaining to the identical area, ‘launched ‘Chalo Delhi’ march, although with truncated energy and calls for, starkly totally different from 2020-21 protests.
The major demand of protesting farmers, this time, is a authorized assure of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all of the Kharif and Rabi crops, moreover looking for Rs 10, 000 pension for farmers above 60 years and extra.
A MSP for Kharif and Rabi crops would imply that authorities lays down a hard and fast worth, in order that farmers get a ‘fixed’ revenue no matter the quantity and high quality of their crop produce.
Farmers have each proper to hunt ‘government shield’ however MSP for each crop will not be possible, tenable and justified, not simply politically but in addition economically.
First speaking about financial fallout, there exist an enormous hole between farmers demand and authorities’s MSP allocation, for years.
In the fiscal 12 months 2020, the market worth of agricultural produce stood at Rs 10 lakh crore and this included all 24 crops beneath MSP purview. However, the entire MSP procurement in that 12 months stood at Rs 2.5 lakh crore, which is simply 25 per cent of the produce beneath MSP.
If the federal government cedes to farmers demand for laws, thereby in accordance it a assure, the exchequer would stand to bleed with further expenditure of no less than Rs 10 lakh crore yearly.
Notably, this quantity is nearly equal to the Central authorities’s allocation of Rs 11.11 lakh crore, within the interim funds this 12 months, for infrastructure growth.
Moreover, this quantity is greater than the annual common expenditure on infrastructure within the final 7 fiscal years (2016-2023), which stands at Rs 67 lakh crore.
A cautious evaluation of the financial figures makes for a simple judgement. The MSP assure regulation received’t be justified, cheap and in addition economically tenable.
Politically, even when authorities bows right down to farmers protest and agrees for MSP assure for all crops, it could have to earmark Rs 10 lakh crore yearly. For elevating such surplus cash, authorities must both curtail expenditure on defence purchases and infrastructure growth or burden the taxpayers with extra levies and surcharges.
Experts consider that taking out Rs 10 lakh crore out of Rs 45 lakh crore Budget expenditure (for fiscal 12 months 2025) for crops assure yearly, makes for a poor and ill-devised judgement. It is not going to simply burden the financial system but in addition stifle authorities’s fingers in taking farmer-friendly measures.
The farmers protest this time comes simply months forward of Parliamentary elections 2024. The seventeenth Lok Sabha has adjourned sine die and is on no account ‘empowered’ to border a regulation/regulation on MSP for farm produce.
The ‘Delhi Chalo’ march in 2024 has the help of lower than half of the 40 farmer organisations, that besieged the capital in 2020-2021. Many high leaders and faces of earlier farm protests are ‘missing’ this time. Last time, the farm legal guidelines turned the rallying level however this time, MSP for crops is the primary agenda.
Even if authorities offers in to farmers demand because it did two years in the past, a full Parliament session can be required to border the MSP regulation.
At the outset, Farmers protest 2.0 appears to be like extra of a motivated, political demonstration and sponsored protest, allegedly with help of rival factions, reasonably than actual combat for farmers’ rights and justice.