Farmers’ organisations in Punjab have described the Prime Minister’s newly announced scheme PM-AASHA (Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan) as a scheme to favour private players by bringing in private players into procurement. They said that with this the government is preparing ground for withdrawal of state from procurement responsibility.
Farmers organisations will now organise a meeting on September 26 to decide the protest programme. “Government is claiming that if a trader will pay less than the fixed MSP of any crop then the state and central government will pay the difference amount to the farmer, but such one scheme of the government called ‘bhavantar (price difference)’ scheme of Madhya Pradesh’ has already badly failed in MP and now this new scheme is an attempt to use the failed ‘bhavantar’ scheme of Madhya Pradesh on the rest of the country,” said Jagmohan Singh, general secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta Dakunda. He added that 90 per cent farmers faced huge losses under ‘bhavantar’ scheme in MP despite completing all the formalities.
All India Kisan Sangharsh Committee (AIKSC) also said that this scheme does not provide any mechanism to strengthen marketing infrastructure needed in most parts of the country for farmers to take benefit of MSP.