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Policy overhaul is required to deal with farmers’ problems

29rahul

Siddheshwar Shukla

The tragic death of five farmers in Madhya Pradesh is manifestation of the policy paralysis in the government machinery from state to centre. Let it be very clear that this policy paralysis is not only due to rule of a particular party but at the level of governance and policy makers sitting in the corridors of power.

The bureaucrats and intellectuals across disciplines who dig up arguments from the data of expenses, whole sale price index and living standards to justify their ever increasing demands of successive pay commissions, never apply those arguments for farmers. It’s laughable that these officers are provided several services for free but charge the government hefty amount in the form of salaries. The burden of salaries and pensions of the bureaucracy on public exchequer has become a burden on the public exchequer but they never recommend any deduction on them. All the pay commissions invariably, recommended hike in salaries for the existing staff besides equivalent hike in retired staff.

The retired employees of the government are not engaged in productive works. They have almost no pending responsibilities. Furthermore, if employed again in any government or public sector areas they are paid for that. Above all, their pensions are provided not on the basis of their requirement but on the basis of their grade pay.

On the other hand, a farmer works from birth till death. There is no rest or weekend or holiday. However, the work increases during sowing and harvesting but farming is a round the clock 24×7 job. The farmers needs to inspect the crop, protect it from animals, pests and provide water and fertiliser on time. Thus he needs to take care of the field round the clock.

The policy of free ship in metros is responsible for the frustration among farming community. Those visiting metros and national capital city witness the developmental divide and also the care of media for the water and electricity. These problems are never heard in the media in their villages. In cities, the people living in unauthorised colonies and slums are given extra care by NGOs, and politicians but in villages there are no such facilities. These social divides are causing frustration among farmers which is expressed during peasant movements.

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