Farmers’ Bills backed by 22 pol parties introduced in LS

NEW DELHI: Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti introduced two private member Bills in Lok Sabha on Friday, seeking legislation on farmers’ rights to guaranteed remunerative minimum support prices for all crops, and freedom from indebtedness.

The Private Member Bills are the result of an All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) initiative in which over 190 farm organisations travelled across India to identify the key demands of the farm community. The AIKSCC initiative has since found the backing of 22 political parties and was also introduced in Rajya Sabha by CPM MP KK Ragesh.

Speaking to TOI, Shetti said, “We are hopeful that the Bill be taken up for discussion in the Winter Session of Parliament. Since we have the support of 22 political parties now, we are hopeful of being able to impress upon the government the need to take up the farmers’ issues on a priority basis.”

The introduction of the Bill follows a series of farmers’ movements across the country in which farmers decided to demand legislative issues relevant to their interests. The movement, which began with the hugely successful Farmer Long March in Maharashtra, also saw farmers submit signed representations to their respective district magistrates, and addressed to the LS Speaker.

The Bills demand that the government deliver on its promise to ensure minimum support price (MSP) that is 50% higher than the cost of production and that government find permanent solutions for farmers to be freed from indebtedness.

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