(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)
Rising price of essential commodities, fall in the value of the rupee, jobless growth, wage deflation have crippled the common man. This situation is primarily due to the faulty policies pursued by the government. Flux of unwarranted imports and parking of black money in banks abroad have eroded the value of rupee against US dollar. The rising imports have distorted the balance of trade and widened the current account deficit.
World is witnessing a grave agrarian crisis as food security of nations is being imperiled by the monopoly of multinational companies (MNCs) over natural resources. It is most unfortunate that it has become a fashion for the governments in the Third World countries to invite the MNCs to extend their sway over agriculture.
The Government is pushing hard to strike free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries and regional blocs without assessing the impact on Indian agriculture. Heavy farm subsidies by the developed world has depressed global prices to the disadvantage of farmers in the Third World and their high tariff barriers and unwarranted non-tariff barriers have insulated their markets from imports.
India has unilaterally opened its doors for imports in various sectors, including agriculture to join the race for globalization. Unwarranted imports of products have affected both the agriculture and micro, small and medium sized enterprises.
Western model of chemical agriculture is not suitable for the country and it has increased the cost of agriculture production and it's not increasing the productivity. It has damaged soil health and polluted groundwater and badly affect the health of the people. No sincere efforts have been made to restore soil health by adequate use of traditional organic manure. About 64% of the farmland have no assured irrigation facility. No sincere effort has been made to augment irrigation facility in this country and Indian agriculture remains as a gamble on monsoon.
Worldwide debates and researches have brought to the fore some health and environmental hazards related to the genetically modified (GM) crops. New types of uncontrollable super weeds appearing on account of cultivation of GM crops are causing new problems to agriculture. Despite this fact the government is aggressively promoting GM crops. Recent experiences have shown that the introduction of Bt cotton has increased the cost of cultivation by extensive use of water, fertilizers and array of pesticides. This has pushed the poor farmers to debt trap and ultimately to suicide.
Aggressive acquisition of prime farmland from unwilling farmers for gifting it to MNCs' and for real state would spell a doom to food security. Instead of encouraging unwarranted urbanization, the government should facilitate job opportunities in rural areas by encouraging unemployed youths to set up agro-based small industries and other small business enterprises relevant to rural areas. All these policies have been directed by US and EU multinational corporations. All this means that the government is not working for the people.
(Editorial : Kisan Ki Awaaz Magazine)