Indian Overseas Congress, USA, demands revocation of farm laws


New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): Farmers stage a protest against Farm bills at Singhu Border in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)

Our Bureau
New York 

Indian Overseas Congress, USA, has demanded that Modi Government revokes the newly enacted farm laws and engage in a dialogue with the protesting farmers to resolve this serious crisis. “It is quite unfortunate to see the Government using water cannons and teargas against farmers who are peacefully protesting to safeguard their livelihoods,” said George Abraham, Vice-Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, USA, in a statement. “The Modi Administration is systematically trampling the democratic rights of India’s people in terms of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” added Mr. Abraham.

Mr. Mohinder Singh Gilzian, President of the IOCUSA, criticized the way the new law was pushed through the Parliament without any consultation with farmers or any input from a select committee. “It is another example of total disregard of federalism and lack of respect for the Parliamentary procedures that have become the hallmark of this Government. It is quite incredible that those who are in power are questioning the patriotism of the farmers who feed the nation.” Mr. Gilzian added.

Mr. Harbachan Singh, the Secretary-General of the IOCUSA, called upon the Government to respond by saying that “if the minuscule corona virus can bring the world down to its knees, there is no telling that farmers can teach their elected officials some lessons when it becomes necessary. It helps, therefore, for the Government to listen to the legitimate demands and calls for protection by the people”.

“The existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) system may need reforming, but 425 of them plus 1400 or so purchasing centers are doing their job buying, storing, and forwarding those food grains to buyers across India. These APMCs include farmers, Traders, Agricultural experts, and others contributing towards the purchasing decisions.  If they fail to meet a threshold in pricing, farmers currently have the option to sell that to the Government for the Minimum Support Price. This is the mechanism that has been removed in favor of the Ambanis and Adanis, who have taken over all other Industry and Business sectors and demanded that the Government now must do the same in the agricultural sector,” said the statement. 

“There is no empirical evidence to prove that getting rid of the Essential Commodity Act will help the farmers with more income and stabilize the prices for consumers. Under the new laws, corporates will be able to stock any amount, and the outlets like Reliance or Amazon could exploit the supply and demand situation to do price gouging. The recent pandemic in the west showed how the prices were manipulated to maximize these online entities’ profits.  Farmers and Consumers alike would be placed under the mercy of these corporate giants.”

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