Sunday, July 27, 2008
1.The Indo-US Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture (KIA) is a step towards the privatization of agricultural research in India. It has been noted that this agreement would weaken public sector research and promote private sector research on commercialized crops at the expense of food crops – an agenda identified by multinational corporations. The Board set up for the implementation of the KIA includes representatives of Wal-Mart and Monsanto. It was ironic that Rahul Gandhi chose to invoke the VPublish Postidarbha suicides to sponsor a policy shift that is likely to exacerbate the agrarian crisis in rural India.
2.Rahul Gandhi's comments did not just cover-up for the Enron fiasco. It was also a poor effort to sidestep the central role of the Congress party (as well as the Sena-BJP combine) in triggering the series of farmers' suicides in rural Maharashtra. The agrarian distress in Maharashtra is largely a result of the crisis in its cotton economy
3.cheap imports of cotton have flooded the Indian market after the activation of the WTO agreement signed by the Congress (again, without the approval of India's Parliament). Import duties on cotton were significantly lowered in 1997, resulting in a surge of imports and a fall in prices. Incidentally, 1997 was the year when the first reported suicide by a farmer took place in Vidarbha. The central government eliminated quantitative import restrictions for cotton, and reduced import tariffs from 35 percent in 2001-02 to 5 percent in 2002-03. Farmers like Parashuram Bandurkar faced growing competition from subsidized cotton grown in the West. Both the NDA and UPA governments at the centre have consistently refused to raise import tariffs for cotton and protect farmers from cheaper imports.
4.Kalawati's lights were switched off primarily due to the Congress's shady Enron deal. If only Rahul Gandhi's advisors had given him a few lessons in history, he would not have committed that gaffe.India's future Prime Minister, the speech was celebrated in most of India's dailies. "Empower Kalawati with N-deal", said the CNN-IBN. "The millions of Kalawatis in rural India must become part of a new politics of social-economic emancipation", wrote the Economic Times.
One of the most discussed speeches in the debate on the trust motion in the Loksabha was Rahul Gandhi's. Arguing that "energy security is directly related to poverty", Rahul Gandhi pitched in for the deal in the name of two widows from suicide-stricken Vidarbha – Kalawati and Sasikala. According to him, the lesson from his Vidarbha rural ride was that Kalawati and Sasikala were poor because they were energy-insecure; their children could not study and become doctors, engineers or collectors as there was no electricity in the evenings. Coming from a man, known for his wholesome support for the deal and portrayed as India's future Prime Minister, the speech was celebrated in most of India's dailies. "Empower Kalawati with N-deal", said the CNN-IBN. "The millions of Kalawatis in rural India must become part of a new politics of social-economic emancipation", wrote the Economic Times.
In a sense, Rahul Gandhi's speech was a classic cover-up operation that should have left his tour guides aghast. The current power crisis of Maharashtra – with regions outside the power-guzzling Mumbai subjected to a massive power cut – is a very direct outcome of the shady and disastrous Enron deal of the 1990s. It was the State's Congress government that initiated talks with Enron and signed the MoU in 1992 and the PPA in 1993. It was the Narasimha Rao government at the centre in 1994 that signed the counter-guarantees with Enron. The MoU, PPA and the counter-guarantee were sold to India's people in the name of "energy security" for Maharashtra. Much the same enchanting dreams that we were asked to see during the debate on the nuclear deal were told to us in the early-1990s also, when Left parties and progressive activists were opposing the Enron deal. The Shiv Sena-BJP combine that came to power in 1995 was equally guilty of getting "politically educated" and moving towards supporting the deal in the name of "renegotiations". The Enron deal came crashing in the late-1990s, upsetting energy plans for the State – a shock from which Maharashtra still reels.
Kalawati's lights were switched off primarily due to the Congress's shady Enron deal. If only Rahul Gandhi's advisors had given him a few lessons in history, he would not have committed that gaffe.
There is more. Rahul Gandhi's comments did not just cover-up for the Enron fiasco. It was also a poor effort to sidestep the central role of the Congress party (as well as the Sena-BJP combine) in triggering the series of farmers' suicides in rural Maharashtra. The agrarian distress in Maharashtra is largely a result of the crisis in its cotton economy. This crisis has many causes that have been repeatedly discussed. First, the crash in cotton prices adversely affected the economics of cotton cultivation, primarily because the government began to gradually weaken the 'Monopoly Cotton Procurement Scheme' from the late-1990s. Till the late-1990s, cotton was purchased from farmers by the Maharashtra State Cotton Growers Marketing Federation at an assured price, and then sold in the open market. The Congress' remarkably ineffective Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh went a step ahead in 2005 by withdrawing the promised 'advance bonus' of Rs 500 per quintal of cotton; this was one of the final nails in the cotton coffin. The withdrawal of the procurement scheme rendered cotton farmers, including Parashuram Bandurkar (the late husband of Kalawati), totally susceptible to volatilities in international and national prices.
Secondly, cheap imports of cotton have flooded the Indian market after the activation of the WTO agreement signed by the Congress (again, without the approval of India's Parliament). Import duties on cotton were significantly lowered in 1997, resulting in a surge of imports and a fall in prices. Incidentally, 1997 was the year when the first reported suicide by a farmer took place in Vidarbha. The central government eliminated quantitative import restrictions for cotton, and reduced import tariffs from 35 percent in 2001-02 to 5 percent in 2002-03. Farmers like Parashuram Bandurkar faced growing competition from subsidized cotton grown in the West. Both the NDA and UPA governments at the centre have consistently refused to raise import tariffs for cotton and protect farmers from cheaper imports.
Thirdly, both the Congress and BJP governments at the centre and the State have presided over a period of breakdown of institutional support structures in rural areas from 1991 onwards. Input costs have exhibited a sharp rise after a reduction in subsidies. The rise in the input costs is reflected in the rising bills for electricity, fertilisers, energy (diesel) and transportation. Given the declining public investment in agricultural extension, farmers have lost access to the public extension that is supposed to give reliable information on how to deal with pests and declining productivity of land. In its place, the farmers are dependent on agents of seed, fertiliser and pesticide companies – a dependence that has attained disastrous dimensions in the suicide-stricken regions like Vidarbha.
To top it all, the Vidarbha Relief Package – conceived and implemented by Congress governments at the centre and the State – has been shown by the Maharashtra's CAG report for 2006-07 to be a major failure.
The Indo-US nuclear deal is not an agreement with foreign policy implications alone. The strategic embrace with the US has important economic dimensions; a series of agreements have been signed between the two countries in fields like energy, agriculture, trade, investment and open sky policies. For instance, the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture (KIA) is a step towards the privatization of agricultural research in India. It has been noted that this agreement would weaken public sector research and promote private sector research on commercialized crops at the expense of food crops – an agenda identified by multinational corporations. The Board set up for the implementation of the KIA includes representatives of Wal-Mart and Monsanto. It was ironic that Rahul Gandhi chose to invoke the Vidarbha suicides to sponsor a policy shift that is likely to exacerbate the agrarian crisis in rural India.
In his speech, Rahul Gandhi seemed unperturbed by the damage the Congress-initiated economic reform had inflicted on Indian agriculture. In trivializing the discussion on poverty and farmers' suicides, thereby trying to portray energy insecurity as the cause of poverty, he was doing a neat whitewash job of Congress' bleak record in this sphere. Indeed, to this end, Kalawati and Sasikala were good instruments.
Friday, July 25, 2008
VIDARBHA JAN ANDOLAN SAMITI
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Ref-loan waiver Crisis-2008 PRESS-NOTE Dated-25th july 2008
Kalavati bandhukar leads Vidarbha Cotton Farmers protest rally for fresh crop loan
Nagpur- Dated-25th july2 008
Thousands of vidarbha dying farmers today participated in dharan agitation organised vidarbha jan andolan samiti (VJAS) protest rally joined by hundreds farm widows along with kalavatibai bandhukar whom rahul Gandhi refered in his speech of loksabha having recetly visited her house in his vidarbha discovery one flash tour demanding fresh crop loan to every distressed farmers as more than 90% cotton farmers are left out of loan waiver scheme announced by Indian government and farmers are till not getting the fresh crop loan in vidarbha and farmers have decleared to start indefinite dharana agitation before all banks in order to press west vidarbha main demand of complete loan waiver ,convenor kishor tiwari of vidarbha jan andolan samiti informed in a press release today..
leading farm activist chandrakant wankhede ,mubarak tawwar, tukaram meshram;mohan mamiddwar , moreshwar watile mohan jadhav particeted in the protest rally alongwith thousands of cotton farmers from yavatmal district.speakers in the rally attacked central and state Govt against their hostile approach to tackle vidarbha agrarian crisis which has claimed more than 5000 farm suicides since june 2005.
This rally was organised by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti(VJAS) who has been keeping track of farm suicides in vidarbha region and one of the unsung custodian of agrarian crisis has apposed the condition of 2 hector in laon waiver package and urged o give loan waiver to all farmers with out any limit of land or crop loan limit as this will cover all debt trapped distress farmers and VJAS also demanded that only loan waiver will not address that issue unless and until the fresh five credit cycle is given to all farmers and income base package to farmers hence cost of cotton is as important as debt crisis are hence cotton price is the issue is too important to address the vidarbha agrarian crisis, kishor tiwari added.
Kalavtibai bandhukar in his speech has announced that she has been till date given any help by administration and finding very difficult to keep her family alive and will follow the same path her husband of suicide as life has been too difficult to run family due to continuous apathy of administration .
Kishor Tiwari in his sppech was very critical about the recent CAG research paper which has brought the fact before the nation that vidarbha farmers are victim of apathy and wrong policies of state coupled with massive corruption in relief work more over the announcement of Indian finance Minister P.chitambram has brought despondency and gloom in vidarbha cotton region as most effected debt trapped 70% farm families are being covered in loan waiver package due to 2 hector limit cap as average land holding on record in rain fed area of west vidarbha is 2.4 hector as per govt. record hence decision to give loan waiver up to 2 hector has benefited the most in the area where land holding is less and land is under irrigation .vidarbha grarian crisis which has reported around 36,600 cotton farmers suicides since 1995 after the free trade era has started .
VJAS toady once again urged Govt.the issue of providing credit and cost cover to dying cotton farmers are vital due increase in higher subsidies and instability in cost hence price stabilization fund is needed along with complete loan waiver and regulated credit supply from state controlled Banks. the step to reduce the input cost of cultivation the regulator for seed and pesticide is must.
The provision to provide insurance cover to cash crop on village level ,the direct food security ,health care security and rural employment growth in agrarian crisis prone should be given special budgetary allocation in order to stop on going farmers suicides.
VJAS has today passed resolution in the rally to request Indian Govt. to start NFSM (National food security mission) and special outlay of RKVY(Rashtriya krishi vikas yojana) along with a comprehensive policy for land rights to landless, marginal farmers and tribals cultivating barren land for vidarbha and the demand to allocate dedicated funds on the lines of AIBP for farm ponds, community tanks and give incentives to farmers/villages who/which harness water but nobody in the administration is serious over the vidarbha agrarian crisis ,tiwari added. .
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Sunday, July 13, 2008
Vidarbha "No Rain and No Fresh Crop Loan " has deepen agrarian crisis-VJAS demands National Food Crop Promotion Programme for West Vidarbha Farmers
VIDARBHA JANANDOLAN SAMITI
11, Trisaran Society, In front of Somalwar School, Khamla, Nagpur – 440 025
Tel No. (0712) 2282457 Mob No. 9422108846 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ref : VJAS/vidarbha agrarian crisis-08 PRESSS-NOTE Dated- 13th july, 2008
Vidarbha "No Rain and No Fresh Crop Loan " has deepen agrarian crisis
VJAS demands National Food Crop Promotion Programme for West Vidarbha Farmers
Nagpur-13th july, 2008
Now Vidarbha farmers there are facing a double whammy of no rains and no loans this year this further deepen the on going agrarian crisis. As monsoon has played havoc and till date five district of vidarbha has not received single shower for continuous one hour resulting the hopeless condition that now there cant be sowing of cash crop like cotton or Soybean seeds as in Vidarbha 95 % is dry land Soybean seeds, unlike cotton, germinate early – in six to seven days after sowing, but they also dry up quickly if there's no moisture in land now sowing food crop like jawar and bajara is only possible hence Govt. should prome food crop cultivation as relief measure urged by Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) today.
Vidarbha cotton farmers as banks are yet to commence disbursement of fresh loans to farmers at many places opted local moneylender cum seed shopkeepers and dealers channel to do first and second sowing in June and first week of July but the scanty rainfall and in the absence of proper irrigation facilities it failed and ground condition in west vidarbha is drought prone and very serious as complete region is in grip of rural crisis resulting huge despair among 3 million debt-trapped mainly cotton farmers after objective of the Centre's debt relief scheme has not served it's basic purpose when officially, banks were supposed to notify beneficiaries of the waiver by 30 June. But Vidarbha's farmers were notified only on the last day. Since the beneficiaries of the waiver were defaulters before that date, the banks till date have not given fresh crop loans to them.
As a result, many farmers have been forced to buy seeds on credit from or have borrowed from the local moneylender to pay for them.but this year, the weather gods too have not been kind and the seeds bought with borrowed money are again likely to go waste.now it is clear that if the rains fail them this year then they will never be able to repay their debt. , informed Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) today.
VJAS has urged Indian Govt. to intervene in the matter and provide special food crop promotion relief package in west vidarbha to save dying cotton farmers as more than 50% area under cotton cultivation is barren after frist and second sowing cotton seed has been failed,in a letter to Indian Prime Minister Dr. Mamomhan Singhji , kishor tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) has requested him provide free distribution of jawar and bajar seed along with Rs.2000 per acre incentive to these food crop cultivating, Tiwari added.
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Saturday, July 5, 2008
Date:06/07/2008 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/07/06/stories/2008070655181000.htm
Loan waiver: west Vidarbha gets only Rs. 507 crore
MUMBAI: The suicide-prone farmers of west Vidarbha, crushed under the collapsing agrarian economy, have received only Rs.507 crore of the Rs. 71,000 crore loan waiver announced by the Union government as against Rs.5700 crore received by western Maharashtra.
“It is a mockery of the dying farmers of Vidarbha as only ten per cent of the total debt of Rs.5876 crore is waived and 80 per cent of the distressed farmers are excluded from the waiver scheme,” Mr. Kishore Tiwari, president of the Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, told The Hindu.
Mr. Tiwari said prosperous farmers in western Maharashtra, the political stronghold of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, benefited the most as the total loan waiver amount for Pune and Nashik divisions crossed Rs. 5700 crore.
Besides, these farmers were also getting a relief of Rs. 2680 crore under the One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme as per the State government’s cooperative department’s record, he said.
Over 6000 cotton growers of Vidarbha have committed suicide since June 2005 due to the agrarian crisis and the debt burden. Mr. Tiwari said the flow of fresh credit had not taken place as promised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. After the earlier interest waiver of Rs. 840 crore given in the Prime Minister’s relief package of 2006, over a million farmers were given fresh crop loans. But this number dwindled to 4.56 lakh in 2007 and after the Rs.71,000 crore waiver, NABARD was proposing to cover only 2.3 lakh farmers. This would break the credit cycle of 2.8 million farmers in distress, he said.
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VIDARBHA JANANDOLAN SAMITI
11, Trisaran Society, In front of
Tel No. (0712) 2282457 Mob No. 9422108846 email@example.com
Ref : VJAS/vidarbha loan waiber-08 PRESSS-NOTE dated- 5th july, 2008
Vidarbha Farm loan waiver for is peanut as only 10% Debt is waived off
IT’S MOCKERY OF VIDARBHA DYING FARMERS -
Nagpur-5th july, 2008
Now it’s official that most farm suicide prone west vidarbha which is on international & national radar since june 2007 even after Rs.71000 crore farm loan waiver has received peanut amount of Rs.507 crore
against total agriculture debt of Rs.5876 crore as loan waiver keeping all most 80% distressed farmers out of loan waiver net but most prosperous and progressive farmers of Union Agriculture Minister Shrad Pawar political stronghold Western Maharashtra has been benefited most as total loan waiver amount of Pune and Nashik Division has crossed Rs. 5700 crore excluding amount of OTS which also amounting Rs.2680 crore as per official record of cooperative Deptt. Of
Prime Minister Promise broken by NABARD – Unusual Credit crunch resulted in lowest crop loan traget in west vidarbha
More than 6000 cotton farmers suicides since june-2005 due to on going agrarian crisis forced Indian Prime Minister Dr.Mammohan Singh to visit vidarbha and announced Rs.3750 crore relief package to 3 million cotton farmers of six district of the west vidarbha region on 1st july 2006 in nagpur that Rs.840 crore interest waiver was given to the banks and NABARD arranged credit flow of Rs.2500 crore for fresh crop loan disbursement and more than 1 million cotton farmers old farm debt was reconstructed and fresh crop loan was given and Indian Prime Minister Dr.Mammohan Singh promised to keep that credit cycle would be restored for next thre year that for 2006 ,2007 and 2008 but here is credit folw chart that gives most pathetic picture of NABARD’s failure to keep the farm credit cycle intact.
Nabard credit flow or cropl loan disbursement amount
Number of farmers given fresh crop loan from the banks
2006(after Rs.840 crore interest waiver relief to the bank
Rs.2500 crore sanctioned and Rs.2356 crore disbursed.
Record 10,66,578 farmers given the fresh crop loan
2007 (cotton crop failure in year 2006-2007 and agrarian crisis continue)
NABARD sanctioned only Rs.1345 crore due to very poor recovery and first blow to breaking of credit cycle started)
This time only 4.56,822 farmers were given fresh crop loan
2008(status after Rs.507 core farm loan waiver and Rs.450 crore OTS)
NABARD is failed to sanction the proposed fresh credit of Rs.680 crore as per state Govt demand till date banker’s has not received single paisa hence fresh crop loan disbursement to beneficiaries is likely to start by mid – august and all3 million cotton farmers have already arranged credit from input dealers and money lenders ,inviting serious agrarian crisis ahead.
Babus are themselves proposing to cover not more than 2,30,00o farmers breaking credit cycle of 2.8 million distressed dying farmers even after the Rs.71000 farm loan waiver
90% Vidarbha farmers will have to repay first installment of reconstructed crop loan debt done 2006 and first installment of 2008 OTS and full payment of this year crop loan provided it is arranged.
Deep credit crisis and more serious agrarian crisis is predicted in west vidarbha due non application mind and hostile approach to tackle the crasis.
Above table give failed credit scenario even after much discussed loan waiver,kishor tiwari added.
VJAS DEMANDS MOST NEEDED RELIEF TO DYING FARMERS
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) has once again asked demanded that PMO sould give to serious importance to vidarbha agrarian crisis as recently tabled CAG report on farmers relief package worth Rs.5000 crore and survey of ground reality which adding further fuel to on going Mass Genocide of vidarbha farmers and requested to take remedial measures such provided food security and health care to identified more than million of distressed farmers as per administration survey to stop on going farm suicides in vidarbha ,kishor tiwari added.
Vidarbha needs special attention along with agrarian crisis affected 41 districts of India and integrated formula involving social engineering and sustainable farming with special promotion to rural village level employment targeted job units and proper helath care and educational security to distressed farming society not the blanket loan waiver or AIBP like non effective long term relief measures to stop farm suicides ,tiwari demanded.
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