The Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh will hold protests against the Centre’s decision to waive import duty on wheat on Tuesday, reported The Times of India. The party said the community was already facing great difficulty because of the government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 when the Centre decided to do away with import duty on the grain despite bumper stock in 2015-2016, as maintained by the Union Agriculture Ministry.
The party said farmers could not buy seeds on time because of the cash crunch, and this had already heavily affected the sowing process. They said the central government was adding to their woes with the decision on import duty and that the country’s farmers were suffering because of the policies of the Narendra Modi regime.
“Why should the central government scrap import duty on wheat when it has sufficient buffer stock. This is aimed at harming the farmer community. It will take two or three months for the wheat to be imported and it arrive in March when wheat crop of Indian farmers will ripen,” a spokesperson for the party’s west Uttar Pradesh unit said. He said the farmers would have to sell their produce at a low price and incur heavy losses because of the government’s decision.
“Our party will not tolerate oppression and agony of farmers. We have decided to hold a massive agitation in the entire state, including in Bijnor,” Deshwal said. Bharatiya Kisan Union state secretary Rajendra Singh also criticised the government’s decision and said it was not in the interest of the community. “This year, farmers had to sell their paddy crop at low prices due to demonetisation. It seems that now they will have to sell wheat at low prices as well,” he said.