BENGAL GOVT MUST PURCHASE PADDY DIRECTLY FROM KISANS
A severe agrarian crisis has overtaken Bengal. The basic blame can be laid at the door of the Trinamul-led Bengal government. The government in the concerned department has been a crass failure in protecting kisans from the exigencies of what is becoming a free market dominated by urban and rural capital.
The media has reported a series of suicides by kisans who were not able to cope with the mounting debt in the private sector, a debt they had run up because of the falling crop prices. The rural prosperity, carefully, painstakingly built up during the three-and-a-half decades governance of the Left Front appears to undergone total, complete erosion.
The CPI (M), the Bengal Left Front, and the left and democratic forces including a section of media have been vocal in handing out a strong dose of critique to the state government for its virtual anti-kisan, anti-rural development policies.
Recently, the leader of the opposition and CPI (M) leader Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra led a delegation of Left Front legislators to demand from the Bengal government a direct purchase of paddy from the kisan at remunerative prices. The delegation communicated a memorandum to the food minister in this regard.
The memo noted that the process of direct purchase of paddy should be well participated in by the three-tier Panchayat institutions, the cooperative bodies, and the numerous self-help groups. The assisted price in every case must be paid in cash and at the instant, the government takes over the harvested crops. The process must be simplified from the one in practice.
The memo also drew attention to the fact that those without ration cards must be equipped with such cards immediately. The items falling under the central schemes of Annapurna and Antodaya must be supplied and distributed with a rigorous regularity.
The quality of food items in the ration chain must be checked to be good and the public distribution system must be further strengthened. The memo iterated the long-standing demand of the left that 14 commodities of essential consumption must be distributed through the public distribution system with a rational price regimen.
All poor people of the state must be supplied with BPL cards and items under the BPL scheme must be distributed to the beneficiaries throughout the year. Deprived of remunerative prices and unable to tackle the mounting debt from the mahajans and the sahukars, distraught kisans was taking their own lives in utter frustration. The cases must be investigated into and compensation in adequate measure provided, noted the Left memorandum.