Farmers in India seek the intervention of the Supreme Court regarding strict farm laws imposed by the government. This has led to a continuous protest, blocking major highways at the borders of capital New Delhi since November 26, last year.
Four farmers where said to have died during the protest, while several others were injured.
The Farmers lamented that they would settle for nothing less than a revoke of the laws. Series of dialogue with the government to curb the situation proved abortive.
However, the government made it clear that the reforms would not hurt farmers, since the agricultural sector is too porous and contribute a sixth of the country’s GDP.
Still, the farmers insist, saying that “the reforms threatens old concessions, and subsidies we recieve; thwarting our bargaining power, and exposing us to the vagaries of the market and big corporate companies”. “This would eventually result to the end of wholesale markets and assured prices,” they added.
Meanwhile, the chief Justice Sharad Bobde, criticized the way government handled the issue,after going through the petitions brought against the government. Bobde further added that due to the death of the protesters, the court would intervene and resolve the matter.
Although government aid the farmers with subsidies, exempt them from income tax and crop insurance; guarantees them a minimum price of 23 crops and regularly cancels off debts. Yet,many farmers continue to remain poor with low income and high rate of debts; as a result of these “contentious” laws.
Ijeoma Njoku reportting, Obinwannem News